author of Feeding Eden

Archaic Medical Terms

Last year, when I was doing some allergy research for my memoir, I came across a glossary of Archaic Medical Terms and frankly, I found it fascinating. Many applications to parenting.

Some of favorites (in no particular order) :

1. Ever wonder where parents came up with this inane word?
Boo Boo  - A name applied in Sandwich Islands to a kind of fever which attacks only new comers, characterized by great depression of spirits and moaning (whence the name) Also written as: boubou. [appleton 1904]
2. Why my jaw used to ache when the children didn't sleep at night:
Stridor Dentium - Teeth grinding. A symptom in certain cerebral diseases. Among the insane. [Tuke 1892]
3. Maybe it was this and not the extra glass of wine at the last Moms Night Out:
Leaping Ague - This disease is said by the Scotch writers  to be characterized by increased efficiency, but depraved direction, of the will, producing an irresistible propensity to dance, tumble, and move about in a fantastic manner, and often with far more than the natural vigor activity and precision. See dancing Mania [Dunglison 1855]
And, no, I'm not concluding with a swine flu joke. Too easy.