What was Dropsey?
and other terms

Ablepsy  -Blindness

Ague Malarial -Fever

American plague -Yellow fever

Anasarca-General massive edema


Aphtha-Infant disease "thrush"

Apoplexy-Paralysis from stroke

Asphycsia/Asphicsia-Cyanotic ( lack of oxygen )

Atrophy- Wasting away

Bad Blood-Syphilis

Bilious fever-Typhoid, malaria, hepatitis or high temperature and bile emesis

Biliousness- Jaundice from liver disease

 Black plague or death-Bubonic plague

Black fever-Acute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions, highmortality rate

Black pox-Black Small pox

Black vomit-Vomiting blood, black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever

Blackwater fever-Dark urine with high temperature

Bladder in throat-Diphtheria (Seen on death certificates)

Blood poisoning-Bacterial infection; septicemia

Bloody flux-Bloody stools

Bloody sweat-Sweating sickness

Bone shave-Sciatica

Brain fever-Meningitis

Breakbone-Dengue fever

Bright's disease-Chronic inflammatory disease of kidneys

Bronze John-Yellow fever

Bule-Boil, tumor or swelling


Cacogastric-Upset stomach

Cacospysy-Irregular pulse

Caduceus-Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy

Camp fever- Typhus or Camp diarrhea

Canine madness-Rabies, hydrophobia

Canker- Ulceration of mouth or lips or herpes simplex

Catalepsy-Seizures or trances

Catarrhal-Nose and throat discharge from cold or allergy

Cerebritis-Inflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning

Chilblain- Swelling of extremities from exposure to cold

Child bed fever-Infection following child birth

Chin cough-Whooping cough

Chlorosis-Iron deficiency anemia

Cholera-Acute, severe, contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing

Cholera morbus-Characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated
temperature, etc. Could be appendicitis

Cholecystitus-Inflammation of the gall bladder

Cholelithiasis-Gall stones

Chorea-Disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing

Cold plague-Ague characterized by chills

Colic-An abdominal pain and cramping

Congestive chills-Malaria

Consumption- Tuberculosis

Congestion-Any collection of fluid in an organ, like the lungs

Congestive chills-Malaria with diarrhea

Congestive fever-Malaria


Coryza-A cold


Cramp colic-Appendicitis

Crop sickness-Overextended stomach

Croup-Laryngitis, diphtheria, or strep throat

Cyanosis-Dark skin color from lack of oxygen in blood

Cynanche-Diseases of throat

Cystitis-Inflammation of the bladder

Day fever-Fever lasting one day; sweating sickness

Debility-Lack of movement, staying in bed

Decrepitude-Feebleness from old age

Delirium tremens-Hallucinations due to alcoholism

Dengue-Infectious fever endemic to East Africa

Dentition- Cutting of teeth

Deplumation-Tumor of the eyelids causing hair loss

Diary fever-A fever that lasts one day

Diptheria-Contagious disease of the throat

Distemper-Usually animal disease with malaise, discharge from nose and throat,anorexia

Dock fever-Yellow fever

Dropsy-Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease

Dropsy of the Brain-Encephalitis

Dry Bellyache-Lead poisoning

Dyscrasy-An abnormal body condition

Dysentery-Inflammation of colon with frequent passage of mucous and blood

Dysorexy-Reduced appetite

Dyspepsia-Indigestion and heartburn. Heart attack symptoms

Dysury-Difficulty in urination

Eclampsy-Symptoms of epilepsy, convulsions during labor

Ecstasy-A form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason

Edema-Nephrosis; swelling of tissues

Edema of lungs- Congestive heart failure, a form of dropsy

Eel thing-Erysipelas

Elephantiasis-A form of leprosy

Encephalitis-Swelling of brain or sleeping sickness

Enteric fever-Typhoid fever

Enterocolitis-Inflammation of the intestines

Enteritis-Inflations of the bowels

Epitaxis-Nose bleed

Erysipelas-Contagious skin disease, from Streptococci with vesicular and bulbous lesions

Extravasted blood-Rupture of a blood vessel

Falling sickness-Epilepsy

Fatty Liver-Cirrhosis of liver

Fits-Sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity

Flux-An excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea

Flux of humour-Circulation

French pox-Syphilis

Gathering-A collection of pus

Glandular fever-Mononucleosis

Great pox-Syphilis

Green fever /sickness-Anemia

Grippe/grip-Influenza like symptoms

Grocer's itch-Skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour

Heart sickness-Condition caused by loss of salt from body

Heat stroke-Body temperature elevates because of surrounding environment temperature and body does not perspire to reduce temperature. Coma and death result if not reversed

King's evil-Tuberculosis of neck and lymph glands

Hectical complaint-Recurrent fever

Hematemesis-Vomiting blood

Hematuria-Bloody urine

Hemiplegy-Paralysis of one side of body

Hip gout-Osteomylitis

Horrors-Delirium tremens

Hydrocephalus-Enlarged head, water on the brain

Hydropericardium-Heart dropsy


Hydrothroax-Dropsy in chest

Hypertrophic-Enlargement of organ, like the heart

Impetigo-Contagious skin disease with by pustules

Inanition-Physical condition resulting from lack of food

Infantile paralysis-Polio

Intestinal colic-Abdominal pain from improper diet

Jail fever-Typhus

Jaundice-Condition caused by blockage of intestines

Kruchhusten-Whooping cough


Lockjaw-Tetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw.
Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days

Long sickness-Tuberculosis

Lues disease-Syphilis

Lues venera-Venereal disease

Lumbago-Back pain

Lung fever-Pneumonia

Lung sickness-Tuberculosis

Lying in-Time of delivery of infant

Malignant sore throat-Diphtheria


Marasmus-Progressive wasting away of body, like malnutrition

Membranous Croup-Diphtheria

Meningitis-Inflations of brain or spinal cord

Metritis-Inflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal discharge

Miasma-Poisonous vapors thought to infect the air

Milk fever-Disease from drinking contaminated milk, like undulant fever or brucellosis

Milk leg-Post partum thrombophlebitis

Milk sickness-Disease from milk of cattle which had eaten poisonous weeds


Morphew-Scurvy blisters on the body

Mortification-Gangrene of necrotic tissue

Myelitis-Inflammation of the spine

Myocarditis-Inflammation of heart muscles

Necrosis-Mortification of bones or tissue

Nephrosis-Kidney degeneration

Nepritis-Inflammation of kidneys

Nervous prostration-Extreme exhaustion from inability to control physical and mental activities

Neuralgia-Described as discomfort, such as "Headache" was neuralgia in head


Palsy-Paralysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles.


Pemphigus-Skin disease with watery blisters

Pericarditis-Inflammation of heart

Peripneumonia-Inflammation of lungs

Peritonotis-Inflammation of abdominal area

Petechial Fever-Fever with skin spotting

Puerperal exhaustion-Death from child birth

Phthiriasis-Lice infestation

Phthisis-Chronic wasting away or a name for tuberculosis

Plague-An acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rate

Pleurisy-Any pain in the chest area with each breath


Poliomyelitis-PolioPotter's asthma

Pott's disease-Tuberculosis of spine

Puerperal exhaustion-Death from childbirth

Puerperal fever-Elevated temperature after giving birth to an infant

Puking fever-Milk sickness

Putrid fever-Diphtheria.


Remitting fever-Malaria

Rheumatism-Any disorder associated with pain in joints

Rickets-Disease of skeletal system

Rose cold-Hay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy

Rotanny fever-Children's disease

Rubeola-German measles

Sanguineous crus-Scab

Scarlatina-Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever-A disease with a red rash

Scarlet rash-Roseola

Sciatica-Rheumatism in the hips

Scirrhus-Cancerous tumors

Scotomy-Dizziness, nausea and dimness of sight

Scrivener's palsy-Writer's cramp


Scrofula-Tuberculosis of neck lymph glands. Progresses slowly with abscesses and
pistulas developing. Usually occurs in the young.

Scrumpox-Skin disease, impetigo

Scurvy-Lack of vitamin C. Symptoms of weakness, spongy gums, hemmoraging
under skin.

Septicemia-Blood poisoning Shakes

Shaking-Chills, ague

Shingles-Viral disease with skin blisters

Ship fever-Typhus

Siriasis-Inflammation of the brain from exposure to the sun

Sloes-Milk sickness

Small pox-Contagious disease with fever and blisters

Softening of brain-Result of stroke or hemorrhage in the brain, with an end result of the tissue softening in that area

Sore throat distemper-Diphtheria or quinsy

Spanish influenza-Epidemic influenza

Spasms-Sudden involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles, like a

Spina bifida-Deformity of spine

Spotted fever-Either typhus or meningitis

Sprue-Tropical disease with intestinal disorders and sore throat

St. Anthony's fire-Also erysipelas, but named so because of affected skin areas are bright red in appearance

St. Vitas dance-Ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements performed involuntary

Stomatitis-Inflammation of the mouth

Stranger's fever-Yellow fever


Sudor anglicus-Sweating sickness

Summer complaint-Diarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk

Sunstroke-Uncontrolled elevation of body temperature due to environment heat.
Lack of sodium in the body is a predisposing cause

Swamp sickness-Could be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis

Sweating sickness-Infectious and fatal disease common to UK in 15th century

Tetanus-Infectious fever with high fever, headache and dizziness

Thrombosis-Blood clot inside blood vessel Thrush

Tick fever-Rocky mountain spotted fever

Toxemia of pregnancy-Eclampsia

Trench mouth-Painful ulcers found along gum line,Caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene

Tussis convulsiva-Whooping cough

Typhus-Infectious fever with high fever, headache, and dizziness



Viper's dance-St. Vitus Dance

Water on brain-Enlarged head

White swelling-Tuberculosis of the bone

Winter fever-Pneumonia

Womb fever-Infection of the uterus.

Worm fit-Convulsions associated with teething, worms, high temperature or diarrhea

Yellowjacket-Yellow fever.

return to main page

Copyright Notice
All files on this site are copyrighted by their creator. They may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from Vickie Sturgill Stevens. Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc., are.