Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Archaic medical terms

Just a quick post today, but one hopefully valuable to archival researchers.  Anyone interested in historical epidemiology has to deal with the often widely varied terminology for diseases and medical conditions.  For example, ever had a case of Prairie Dig?  How about a bout of Bronze John?  Not to mention the ever-present scourge of Knifegrinders Rot.  Fortunately, there are some handy search references online designed for just this occasion.  One of the best I've found thus far is Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms at www.antiquusmorbus.com.  This one is worth just browsing for a look into the state of the art of medicine a century or two ago, such as the notation that "Love is occasionally a cause of disease, especially of insanity (Dunglison, 1855)." 

Here's an instructive quiz question; how many conditions can you find throughout the list somehow related to tuberculosis?

Finally, I'd like to welcome my very first blog follower.  Go to her weblog for a look at her agricultural prowess.


Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms.  www.antiquusmorbus.com.  Accessed February, 2011.

Dunglison, R, 1855.  Dunglinsons Medical Dictionary: A Dictionary of Medical Science.

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