Tag Archives: syphilis

De verborum notatio morbi – On the etymology of diseases

I find that the more we understand about the world, the less imaginative our names for diseases. Your stomach hurts? We can look at your blood work, X-ray your gut after a barium meal and, hey presto, you have appendicitis. LAME! Maybe you’ve got The Irritable Ghosts and what’s happening is that the ghosts that are inhabting your scrotum are banging on the roof because your lungs are too loud. Treatment is shutting up and dying prematurely. Let’s explore the names of other diseases.

 

My Latin dictionary is not only useful for DotW article photos, but also if I suddenly get transported into Ancient Rome (Picture taken by Thomas Tu)

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Syphilis – or how love drives people crazy

You've just hovered your cursor too long here, you now have syphilis

Someone (I’ve forgotten who) gave me Syphilis for my birthday (Picture taken by Thomas Tu)

Craaaazy for feeeeling… someone else

Syphilis is a well-known STD (sexually transmitted disease) because it has a funny-looking name and because it infected an estimated 11.8 million people in 1999 alone. Its street names include: “The Syph”; “The Great Pox”, distinguishing it from the other pox that was going around, smallpox; and “Disease that your mum has #17”.

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