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Old/unconventional names for diseases / conditions

Maister

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I just heard someone utter the phrase 'running amok' (in the context of acting foolishly or without restraint). Centuries ago the phrase originally referred to a medical condition http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=181064 where afflicted people would engage in psychotic/violent behavior, but we don't hear too much about that anymore. Or if we do it's given a name with some dry, multisyllabic, medical prefix/suffix. Personally I don't see anything wrong with 'running amok'
So how many of y'all suffer from catarrh, dropsey, rheumatism, lumbago, marthambles, or grippe? Not too many? Hmmm, must be Dr. Rush's thunderbolts, diets with no pepper, and frequent bleeding cured most of these back in the 19th century.
 

Dan

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I'm personally fond of the old-timey rural trait of adding a definitive article before the name of all diseases and alments. Think about it - why is it that someone can have "the flu", but not "the cold?"

"I always wipe the turlet seat before I sit on it. I don't wanna catch the AIDS."

I love looking at old ads for patent medicines.

"Proven effective against the Cuban scurvy, shimmies, Johnson's Curse, Mexican influenza, corruption, wasting, whooping cough, Brown's intestinal fountain, yellow belly, Chester A. Arthur's disease, Portuguese fever, gimpism and impure self-gratification."
 
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Maister said:
So how many of y'all suffer from catarrh, dropsey, rheumatism, lumbago, marthambles, or grippe? Not too many? Hmmm, must be Dr. Rush's thunderbolts, diets with no pepper, and frequent bleeding cured most of these back in the 19th century.
Please define them so that we can do a proper survey. (I, alone, probably suffer from most of them. :p )
 

noottamevas

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Dan said:
"Proven effective against the Cuban scurvy, shimmies, Johnson's Curse, Mexican influenza, corruption, wasting, whooping cough, Brown's intestinal fountain, yellow belly, Chester A. Arthur's disease, Portuguese fever, gimpism and impure self-gratification."
Sounds like an old add for Lucky Cigarettes. Only need to add "7 out of 10 doctors reccomend...."
 

biscuit

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I have relatives who still refer to a person suffering with diabetes as "having sugar." Has anyone else heard that before or is it just an Appalachian thing?

Dan said:
I'm personally fond of the old-timey rural trait of adding a definitive article before the name of all diseases and alments. Think about it - why is it that someone can have "the flu", but not "the cold?"

"I always wipe the turlet seat before I sit on it. I don't wanna catch the AIDS."
Although AIDS is not humorous, adding "the" before any STD or neither region affliction makes it kind of funny. For example: "He fooled around with that big skank and now has the crabs." Hilarious! :a: ;-)
 

Maister

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Dan said:
"Proven effective against the Cuban scurvy, shimmies, Johnson's Curse, Mexican influenza, corruption, wasting, whooping cough, Brown's intestinal fountain, yellow belly, Chester A. Arthur's disease, Portuguese fever, gimpism and impure self-gratification."
You forgot consumption, the shakes and Dutchman's Disease.
To cure these I recommend 4 tblspoons of castor oil daily, a shot of nervine, plenty of celery, and only smoke Chesterfields.
biscuit said:
I have relatives who still refer to a person suffering with diabetes as "having sugar."
I kid my wife all the time about having "the sugar diabetes". It's not exclusively an Appalachian thing.
 

Joe Iliff

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How about scurvy? I think that is a whole sentence in the Deep South.

"Go slow when you drive on Nine Mile Road. S'curvy."
 

Seabishop

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How about refering to someone as a Mongoloid instead of having Down's Syndrome. Sometimes the politically correct term just makes more sense.
 

natski

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I have had a virus called "Devils Grip"- Try explaining that one to people
 

sisterceleste

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Run Amok

Maister said:
I just heard someone utter the phrase 'running amok' (in the context of acting foolishly or without restraint). Centuries ago the phrase originally referred to a medical condition http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=181064 where afflicted people would engage in psychotic/violent behavior, but we don't hear too much about that anymore. Or if we do it's given a name with some dry, multisyllabic, medical prefix/suffix. Personally I don't see anything wrong with 'running amok'
So how many of y'all suffer from catarrh, dropsey, rheumatism, lumbago, marthambles, or grippe? Not too many? Hmmm, must be Dr. Rush's thunderbolts, diets with no pepper, and frequent bleeding cured most of these back in the 19th century.

The term in used in my favorite Woody Allen movie "Radio Days", about the guy who lost it and ran after people with a meat cleaver. Cracked me up. One of the reasons its my favorite Woody Allen movie is cause he's not in it but it's about his childhood.
 

Bear Up North

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Here's one (1) of a more recent vintage.....Hodgkin's Disease is now called Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Young doctors who have dealt with me have used the "Lymphoma" name, older docs have stayed with "Disease".

Another one (1) I hear is, "Jim has THE gout."

THE Bear
 

passdoubt

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AIDS used to be called GRID. It stood for "Gay-Related Immunodeficiency Disorder." Whoops!
 

Richmond Jake

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Every disease sounds funny with “the” in front of it….unless, of course, you got it. :-c :-D ;)
 

Zoning Goddess

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"the clap" was that gonorrhea or syphilis? I had classes in college in Hooker Auditorium in Clapp Hall. Weird.
 

Richmond Jake

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Zoning Goddess said:
.... I had classes in college in Hooker Auditorium in Clapp Hall. Weird.
[ot]hehehehehe, what does that say about you? hehehehehe. I'm dying here. My mind works in strange ways. ;-) ;-) (But at least I got my Super Bowl picks, thanks, I owe you.) :-D[/ot]
 

Otis

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My personal favorite is ague. Which is a sharp fever.

The grippe is cool, too.

Chilblains, anyone? (It's also called pernio, but you knew that, right?)
 

Dan

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RichmondJake said:
Every disease sounds funny with “the” in front of it….unless, of course, you got it. :-c :-D ;)
It's also intensified if you place a nationality before it. "He's got chickenpox" becomes "He's got the Bolivian Chickenpox." "She's got diarrhea" becomes "She's got the Turkish diarrhea."

I love the old name for epilepsy - "Jackson's March."

Does anyone still get lumbago or catarrh?

The old-fashioned medicine I've seen in Southern pharmacies sounds just as quaint - Goody's Headache Powder and 666 Cough Medicine among them. Corn Husker's Lotion used to be common, but I don't see it much anymore.
 

AubieTurtle

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I knew I wasn't insane when I saw 666 cough syrup one night years ago at K&B Drugs. Everyone says I'm full of it and that no one would ever market something with that name, especially in the Bible Belt.

Now if you'll excuse my, I've got The Cyburbia Vapors and need to retire to the gentlemen's closet for a spell.
 

Zoning Goddess

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Dan said:
The old-fashioned medicine I've seen in Southern pharmacies sounds just as quaint - Goody's Headache Powder and 666 Cough Medicine among them.
They don't sell Goody's up there? I still hear people, even my age and younger say "Gotta go take the powder for my headache...".
 

Whose Yur Planner

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I have relatives who still refer to a person suffering with diabetes as "having sugar." Has anyone else heard that before or is it just an Appalachian thing?

We had it in northern Indiana as well. In fact, I find myself still using the term.

Slightly off topic, do we have the same diseases they had in earlier times? Are they they the same illnesses under different names or are they completely different? Do we have more or fewer?
 
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Big Owl

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My grandmother would declare that my grandfather would have "The Hedonts". It wasn't till i was six or seven when i made a homemade get well card that it ment he donts wanta do "fill in the blank". I was much older when i understood.:)
 

Maister

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Michele Zone said:
Please define them so that we can do a proper survey. (I, alone, probably suffer from most of them. :p )
Describing symptoms takes out all the fun. The fun is just in saying the humorous words and pondering what the heck the condition could possibly be based on the name alone. But I suppose this thread has nearly run its course so for anyone else's benefit who was wondering what they are called in modern terminology:
cattarh - sinus infection
dropsy - edema
rheumatism - rheumatoid arthritis
lumbago - lower back pain
marthambles - a condition resulting from an imbalance of the humours (no modern equivalent)
grippe - influenza

Like they say - "in a tumor no humor"
 

Tom R

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illnesses

My favorite comes from Maine, The Gollywoggles. Not realy sure what it is.
 

Maister

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Tom R said:
My favorite comes from Maine, The Gollywoggles. Not realy sure what it is.
Googled gollywoggles and dind't find any disease description but did find this daycare:
Gollywoggles Day Care Centre

Rathmullen Road, Drogheda,

Telephone: 041-9845678, ,

Fax:

e-mail address:

website:
I'm not sure naming a daycare after a disease is the best marketing technique. I mean, would one want to drop their kids off in the morning at "Measles Day Care Center"?
 

Dan

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I forgot - the new meme of making fun of homophobia by giving it hick-like attributes, specifically:

Look out, or you'll catch the gay.
 

Joe Iliff

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What about "the gout"? Is that technically a disease or just a condition?
 

mike gurnee

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Gout, caused by elevated levels of euric acid in the blood, kept me from from military service during the Nam era. Damn.
 

Tom R

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illness

I have seen a glossary of old time disease names intended for geneological research so you know what your ancestors died of. Anyone ever heard of impetego? How about Lakanookie, screaming riplies, Hershy squirts, Tiajuana trots?
 

Jack

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Growing up, everyone I knew put "the" in front of flu. It wasn't until a month or two ago when I mentioned how I had caught "the flu" twice that previous year that someone chuckled at at me and said "Oh no, not THE flu! I wouldn't want to catch THE flu!"

I still say "the flu," though - you can't unto years and years of conditioning like that.
 

Dan

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Tom R said:
How about Lakanookie, screaming riplies, Hershy squirts, Tiajuana trots?
They sound too much like modern slang. I think folks in the early 1900s would have called it something like "Ganges River disease", "Grover Cleveland's disease", "Argentine movements", "the mud" or "the melts".
 

otterpop

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Dan said:
The old-fashioned medicine I've seen in Southern pharmacies sounds just as quaint - Goody's Headache Powder and 666 Cough Medicine among them. Corn Husker's Lotion used to be common, but I don't see it much anymore.
One I recall and they still sell it down South is Dr. Tichenor's. Which is a peppermint flavored antiseptic and mouthwash. We had it in our house for years. Pretty much pure alcohol. As a mouthwash it was nasty but it is a first-rate antiseptic. Good for treating the itch of insect bites too.

As the jingle went: "Good ole Dr. Tichenor's - best antiseptic in town."
 

BeansandCod

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Tom R said:
I have seen a glossary of old time disease names intended for geneological research so you know what your ancestors died of. Anyone ever heard of impetego? How about Lakanookie, screaming riplies, Hershy squirts, Tiajuana trots?
Impetigo is a skin condition caused by a strep or staph infection. Kids get this all the time.

As to the others you mention - I agree it sounds like scatalogical slang.
 

Dan

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I did have a nasty case of kurtosis back in grad school. Heteroskedasticity, copula, and minque were rampant then, too.
 
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Maister said:
cattarh - sinus infection
dropsy - edema
rheumatism - rheumatoid arthritis
lumbago - lower back pain
marthambles - a condition resulting from an imbalance of the humours (no modern equivalent)
grippe - influenza
And the survey says:
I have had cattarh, dropsy, lumbago, grippe, and marthambles (I am interpretting that is equivalent to an imbalance of the body's ph :-D ). I think the only one I have not had is rheumatism.
 

Maister

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Lordy, my piles have been acting up something fierce the last couple day.
 

wahday

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I forgot - the new meme of making fun of homophobia by giving it hick-like attributes, specifically:

Look out, or you'll catch the gay.
Yes, my father, in an embarassing attempt to demonstrate his late-blooming open-mindedness, proclaimed at dinner one evening that he "really doesn't have a problem with The Gays" :-c

I opened my mouth to say something, but at 73, I just closed it and let it go. He was trying, even if his lingo was drawn from 1952...

Now, from my reading of things, Ague is actually malaria and not just a fever. It was often referred to as "fever and ague." This from the Little House on the Praire series. And I looked it up.

In Uganda, and much of east Africa, AIDS is referred to as "silimu" which is a Bantu-zation of the English word "slim" because that's what happens as you waste away. Not funny, but interesting.

My mother almost died as a child from Scarlet Fever, which I only recently learned is an advanced case of strep throat. She went deaf in one ear as a result, which I guess is a pretty common outcome if untreated. Do people still get scarlet fever in the US?

My dog has vitiligo, also called hypopigmentation. People get it, too. Its when portions of the skin fail to exhibit any melanin and you get these patches of totally white skin on the body. It has no other detrimental features, though. Our dog started getting these white spots on her fur about 5 years ago and they have cropped up in different places ever since. I think people usually have it from birth, though. I knew two kids growing up who had it.
 

southsideamy

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Those that have kids know very well what "impetigo" is....I got it about 6 weeks ago from one of my manky kids.

What about "fevers"....Scarlett fever, fever blister (now herpes), cat scratch fever...

In Kansas, when you get loose bowels, you have 'the runs".

What about "the croup" (speaking of childhood diseases)...I think they call it something else now.
 

mgk920

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I'm kindof amazed that nobody has yet brought up all of those now blatantly un-PC descriptions of people with elevators that don't quite make it to the top floor - and the places where they were usually permanently exiled to.

:-o

Mike
 

Seabishop

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What about "the croup" (speaking of childhood diseases)...I think they call it something else now.
I always hear "the Croup," but it's more of a symptom kids get with a cold or other illness (shortness of breath and barking cough).
 

Tresmo

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My dog has vitiligo, also called hypopigmentation. People get it, too. Its when portions of the skin fail to exhibit any melanin and you get these patches of totally white skin on the body. It has no other detrimental features, though. Our dog started getting these white spots on her fur about 5 years ago and they have cropped up in different places ever since. I think people usually have it from birth, though. I knew two kids growing up who had it.
Isn't this what Michael Jackson says he has? I have bleached out patches on part of my body and have since birth. When I was a tan little kid they were noticeable, now, not so much.
 

Queen B

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In Kansas, when you get loose bowels, you have 'the runs".
"The Runs" is extremely descriptive, being a Kansas native I didn't know that wasn't a common description. It means that you don't walk leisurely to the restroom but are in a much more urgent need to get there.

As I was reading back through this thread "The Nervous" or "Nervous Breakdown".

Having a degree in Psychology they never did define what a nervous breakdown really is. People used to get so mad at me when I would ask them to define a "nervous breakdown".
 
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