Old Medical Terms for use by Genealogists
  
· A

· Abasia - Hysterical inability to walk or stand
· Abdominal Angina - Term used to describe recurrent, severe and sudden abdominal pain in the elderly. Probably diverticular disease (diverticulosis)
· Ablepsia - Blindness
· Ablepsy - Blindness
· Abopsia - Blindness
· Abortion - Expulsion of a foetus before it is viable, i.e. Miscarriage. When this results from the actions of the doctor it is termed induced abortion or termination of pregnancy
· Abortus Fever - Brucellosis
· Abscess - A localized collection of pus buried in tissues, organs, or confined spaces of the body, often accompanied by swelling and inflammation and frequently caused by bacteria. See boil.
· Absinthism - Form of delirium tremens (from absinthe a cheap spirit which was consumed in abundance in France)
· Accoucheur - A man who acts as a midwife
· Accoucheuse - A midwife
· Accubation - Childbirth
· Acescency - A tendency to sourness; incipient or slight acidity
· Achor - Eruption on the scalp
· Actinic Rays - Ultra-violet light
· Acute - Describes any illness of sudden or recent onset
· Acute Angina - Sore throat
· Acute Indigestion - As a cause of death may mean heart attack
· Acute Mania - Severe insanity
· Addisonian Pernicious Anaemia (Anemia) - See pernicious anaemia
· Addison's Disease - A disease characterized by severe weakness, low blood pressure, and a bronzed coloration of the skin, due to decreased secretion of cortisol from the adrenal gland. Synonyms: Morbus addisonii, bronzed skin disease.
· Aegrotantem - Illness, sickness
· African Fever - I suspect that this is malaria but this is based on a single case
· Agglutination - To glue together or as a medical word would mean clotting of blood
· Aglutition - Inability to swallow.
· Agony - Literally means the violent struggle with death
· Ague - Malarial or intermittent fever characterised by paroxysms (stages of chills, fever, and sweating at regularly recurring times) and followed by an interval or intermission of varying duration. Popularly, the disease was known as "fever and ague," "chill fever," "the shakes," and by names expressive of the locality in which it was prevalent--such as, "swamp fever" (in Louisiana), "Panama fever," and "Chagres fever."
· Ague-cake - A form of enlargement of the spleen, resulting from the action of malaria on the system.
· Ainhum - Stricture resulting from minor cuts at the base of a digit eventually resulting in amputation
· Alastrim - A less virulent form of smallpox
· Aleppo Boil - Cutaneous leishmaniasis
· Allopath - A doctor who practices conventional or mainstream medicine rather than homeopathy
· Alvine - Pertaining to the bowels
· Alzheimer's Disease - Form of dementia
· Amaas - Alastrim
· American Plague Yellow fever
· Anasarca - Generalised, massive, intractable oedema
· Ancome - An ulcerous swelling or whitlow
· Aneurysm - A local ballooning of a blood vessel. Usually an artery
· Angina - Literally means choking. Often used for pain from the heart (angina pectoris to be absolutely correct)
· Anile - Of or like an old woman; imbecile
· Ankylosis - Stiffness of a joint
· Anthracosis - Lung disease caused by inhalation of coal dust. A form of pneumoconiosis
· Anthraw - Anthrax
· Aperient - A laxative medicine or food
· Aphonia - Laryngitis
· Aphtha - Thrush of the mouth. Usually of infants
· Aphthous Stomatitis - Simple mouth ulcers
· Aplastic Anaemia - Total failure (by the bone marrow) to produce new blood cells. The cause is often unknown
· Apnoea - a cessation of respiration
· Apoplexy - A sudden loss of sensation and movement due to a disturbance of blood supply to the brain; a stroke or with specifying word: a haemorrhage or failure of blood supply in another organ or any other sudden rapidly fatal disease
· Ascites - Abnormal collection of fluid within the abdomen. Often due to liver disease (especially secondary cancer) but can result from heart or kidney failure
· Asiatic Cholera - True cholera. Used to distinguish cholera from other illnesses resembling cholera (cholera nostra or English cholera)
· Asphycsia - Asphyxia
· Asphycsia/ Asphicsia - Cyanotic and lack of oxygen
· Asphyxia - Suffocation i.e. Lack of air or oxygen (literally means pulselessness)
· Astasia - Hysterical inability to walk or stand
· Asthenia - Weakness
· Atavism - Heredity
· Ataxia - Clumsiness
· Atelectasis - Condition where lung alveoli do not contain air either because they have never been expanded or they have collapsed
· Atherosclerosis - Commonly called hardening of the arteries, It is a condition that everyone gets eventually where the arteries degenerate and eventually fail to adequately supply blood
· Athetosis - Writhing movements
· Atrophy - Wasting away or emaciation. Usually modified e.g. Brain atrophy

· B

· Bad Blood - Syphilis
· Barber's Itch - Infection of the hair follicles of the beard area
· Barber's Rash - Infection of the hair follicles of the beard area
· Barrel Chest - Chest deformity seen in emphysema
· Barrel Fever - Vomiting or illness due to excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks
· Baseborn - Illegitimate
· Bay Sore - Cutaneous leishmaniasis (brazil)
· Bealed - Infected
· Beriberi - Vitamin b1 deficiency
· Bilious Fever - Loose term for illnesses with vomiting, fever and sometimes jaundice. Could be typhoid, malaria or hepatitis
· Biliousness - Acute indigestion or migraine or vomiting of bile or jaundice or other symptoms associated with liver disease
· Biskra Button - Cutaneous leishmaniasis
· Black ______ - Black may be used before another term to indicate that it was very severe
· Black Death - Bubonic plague
· Black fever - Acute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions and high mortality rate
· Black Jaundice (Wiel's Disease) - Black jaundice is a common term for Wiel's Disease. It is quite common in northeast England near mines, farms and sewage and floats about in water. It is caused by a micro-organism and thus is a bacterial infection (of the liver) and not a virus, as in hepatitis. It is carried by rats and secreted in their urine. It is usually not fatal, in present time, to humans. It is, however, rapidly fatal to dogs and cats, who can eventually gain a resistance, but either way can pass it on.
· Black Lung - Disease from breathing coal dust
· Black plague - Bubonic plague
· Black Pox - Black small pox
· Black vomit - Vomiting old black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever
· Blackwater Fever - Severe form of malaria in which the urine contains so much blood it appears black
· Bladder In Throat - Diphtheria
· Blood poisoning - Bacterial infection; septicemia
· Bloody flux - Bloody stools
· Bloody Sweat - Sweating sickness
· Blue Baby - An infant with a bluish tint usually from a congenital heart defect in which venous and arterial blood are mingled
· Boil - An abscess of skin or painful inflammation of the skin or a hair follicle usually caused by a staphylococcal infection. Synonym: furuncle.
· Bone shave - Sciatica
· Boneshaw - Sciatica (could also be bone shave)
· Bowel Hive - Could be diarrhoea
· Brain Fever - Meningitis
· Brain Shrinkage - Probably dementia
· Brain Wasting - Probably dementia
· Brassfounder's Ague - Illness caused by poisoning (probably by copper) from fumes produced during the production of metals
· Break Bone Fever - Dengue fever
· Bright's Disease - Bright's disease is often a catch all for kidney diseases, but strictly speaking is glomerulonephritis
· Brill's Disease - Typhus
· Bromidism - Condition caused by over indulgence of potassium bromide, which was used as a sedative, to prevent fits and to diminish libido
· Bronchial asthma - A disorder of breathing, characterised by spasm of the bronchial tubes of the lungs, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing air outward--often accompanied by coughing and a feeling of tightness in the chest.
· Bronchial Catarrh - Acute bronchitis
· Bronchiectasis - Dilatation of the airways. Usually due to pneumonia in childhood
· Bronze John - Yellow fever
· Brucellosis - Disease from drinking contaminated milk. Causes a feverish illness of variable duration and frequently depression. Goats can be the source in Malta and pigs in the USA and far east
· Bubo - Inflamed, enlarged or painful gland in the groin
· Bubonic Plague - Plague. An ancient illness referred to in the bible. Think the philistines made offerings of golden mice - whatever they are. Often referred to as the black death
· Bule - Boil, tumour or swelling
· Bulimia - Excessive appetite
 
C

· Cachaemia - Any blood disease
· Cachexia - Emaciation usually due to cancer or malaria
· Cachexy - Malnutrition
· Cacoepy - Emaciation
· Cacoethes - Recurrent bad health
· Cacogastric - Upset stomach
· Cacospysy - Irregular pulse
· Caduceus - Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy
· Caisson Disease - The bends or decompression sickness. Mostly seen in divers but may be seen in workers underground.
· Camp Diarrhoea - Typhus
· Camp fever - Typhus; aka Camp diarrhoea
· Cancer - A malignant and invasive growth or tumour. In the nineteenth century, cancerous tumours tended to ulcerate, grew constantly, and progressed to a fatal end and that there was scarcely a tissue they would not invade. Synonyms: malignant growth, carcinoma.
· Cancrum otis - A severe, destructive, eroding ulcer of the cheek and lip. In the last century it was seen in delicate, ill-fed, ill-tended children between the ages of two and five. The disease was the result of poor hygiene. It was often fatal. The disease could, in a few days, lead to gangrene of the lips, cheeks, tonsils, palate, tongue, and even half the face; teeth would fall from their sockets. Synonyms: canker, water canker, noma, gangrenous stomatitis, gangrenous ulceration of the mouth.
· Canine madness - Rabies, hydrophobia
· Canker - An ulcerous sore of the mouth and lips, not considered fatal today. Synonym: aphthous stomatitis. See cancrum otis.
· Carbuncle - A large boil or skin cancer or other tumour
· Carcinomatosis - Is a cancer that has spread (metastasised) to several other places in the body
· Cardiac Dilation - Enlarged heart, probably heart failure
· Cardiac Insufficiency - Heart failure
· Cardioptosis - Means the heart lies lower than usual. Probably not a true cause of illness
· Carditis - Inflammation of the heart wall
· Caries - Destruction of bone. Dental caries is tooth decay
· Carminative - A medication to relieve flatulence and colic
· Catalepsy - Trance like state coming on suddenly as in a fit. Probably hysterical but some cases are genuine
· Catamenia - The menstrual discharge or menstruation
· Cataplasm - Poultice
· Cataplexy - Trance like state brought on by extreme fright (like a rabbit in car's headlamps)
· Catarrh - Inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the air passages of the head and throat, with a free discharge. Bronchial catarrh was bronchitis; suffocative catarrh was croup; urethral catarrh was gleet; vaginal catarrh was leukorrhea; epidemic catarrh was the same as influenza. Synonyms: cold, coryza.
· Catarrhal - Nose and throat discharge from cold or allergy
· Catarrhal Bronchitis - Acute bronchitis
· Cathartic - Laxative
· Caul - The membrane surrounding a baby before it is born. May not rupture at birth and cover the baby's head (supposed to be lucky)
· Cerebral Softening - Probably syphilis of the brain
· Cerebritis - Inflammation of cerebrum or may indicate lead poisoning
· Cerebro-Spinal Fever - Meningococcal meningitis
· Chalazeon - Cyst or abscess in a gland in the eyelid
· Chalkstones - Skin swellings near joints seen in gout (tophus/tophi) or rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatoid nodules)
· Chicleros Ulcer - Cutaneous leishmaniasis (Mexico)
· Chiggers - Tropical sand flea
· Chigoes - chiggers
· Chilblain - Swelling with itching and burning sensation of the extremities caused by exposure to cold
· Child Bed Fever - Infection (in the mother) following birth of a child
· Chill Fever - Malaria
· Chills - When given as a cause of death, malaria or pneumonia
· Chin cough - Whooping cough
· Chiragra - Gout in the hand (literally hand pain)
· Chloasma - Brownish discolouration of the skin. Mostly seen in pregnancy
· Chlorosis - Anaemia. Usually simple iron deficiency but could also mean leukaemia or lymphoma
· Choak - Croup
· Choke-Damp - Asphyxiating gas, largely carbon dioxide, accumulated in a mine, well, etc.
· Cholecystitus - Inflammation of the gall bladder
· Cholelithiasis - Gall stones
· Cholera - An acute, often fatal, infectious disease with profuse diarrhoea, vomiting, and cramps. Cholera spreads by faeces contaminated water and food, especially in overcrowded conditions. Rice water stools was felt to be a distinguishing feature in the past.
· Cholera infantum - A common, non-contagious diarrhoea of young children, occurring in summer or autumn. It was common among the poor and in hand-fed babies. Death frequently occurred in three to five days. Synonyms: summer complaint, weaning brash, water gripes, choleric fever of children, cholera morbus.
· Cholera Morbus - Illness with vomiting, abdominal cramps and elevated temperature. Could be appendicitis
· Cholera Nostras - An illness resembling cholera but not cholera itself (also known as English cholera true cholera may be called Asiatic cholera)
· Choleric Fever Of Children - Cholera infantum
· Chorea - Any of several diseases of the nervous system, characterised by jerky movements that appear to be well co-ordinated but are performed involuntarily, chiefly of the face and extremities. Synonym: Saint Vitus' dance.
· Chronic - Describes any illness that is long standing
· Cicatrised - Scarred
· Cinchonism - Illness resulting from prolonged use of quinine
· Climacteric - Pertaining to a critical period in human life or (in females) the time after the menopause (the menopause is the first day of the last ever menstrual period) or (in males) the period when fertility and libido are in decline
· Clyster - Injection, enema
· Coachman's Lung - Consumption
· Cocker - Pamper, indulge, coddle
· Cold plague - Ague which is characterised by chills
· Colic - Paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or bowels. Infantile colic is benign paroxysmal abdominal pain during the first three months of life. Colic rarely caused death. Renal colic can occur from disease in the kidney, gallstone colic from a stone in the bile duct.
· Coma-Vigil - State of impaired consciousness i.e. not fully unconscious. Generally a pre-terminal event
· Commotion - Concussion
· Confinement - The period of labour and delivery of the infant
· Congestion - An excessive or abnormal accumulation of blood or other fluid in a body part or blood vessel. In congestive fever the internal organs become gorged with blood.
· Congestive chills - Malaria with diarrhoea
· Congestive Fever - Malaria
· Consumption - A wasting away of the body; formerly applied especially to pulmonary tuberculosis. Synonyms: marasmus (in the mid-nineteenth century), phthisis.
· Contagious Pyrexia - Dysentery
· Convulsions - Severe contortion of the body caused by violent, involuntary muscular contractions of the extremities, trunk, and head. See epilepsy.
· Corals In Their Hands - An allusion meaning to have died in battle, Coral was felt to be a charm that could ward off ill health. There was also a legend amongst sailors that coral was the remnants of the skeleton of people lost at sea.
· Cordial - Related to the heart
· Cordial Decompensation - May mean heart failure, although I suspect it is a euphemism for old age.
· Corruption - Infection
· Coryza - Common cold
· Costive - Constipated; elsewhere may mean reticent, slow, niggardly, etc
· Costivenness - Constipation
· Couvade - Custom in some cultures where expectant fathers experience symptoms of pregnancy and labour
· Coxa - The hip
· Cramp Colic - Appendicitis
· Creeping Paralysis - Could be Guillain-Barré syndrome. This is a paralysis which begins in the feet and spreads upwards to the head
· Cretinism - Mental retardation due to congenitally under-active thyroid. The condition is commonest when born far away from the sea as seawater contains iodine, which is essential for the thyroid gland to work. Therefore, it is commonest in Switzerland in Europe and in the UK mainly in the Lancashire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire dales. Indeed an acquired form of under-active thyroid disease due to dietary deficiency of iodine and causing swelling of the thyroid (or goitre) is often known as Derbyshire neck
· Crop Sickness - Overextended stomach from over eating
· Croup - Any obstructive condition of the larynx (voice box) or trachea (windpipe), characterised by a hoarse, barking cough and difficult breathing occurring chiefly in infants and children. In the early-nineteenth century it was called cynanche trachealis. The crouping noise was similar to the sound emitted by a chicken affected with the pip, which in some parts of Scotland was called roup; hence, probably, the term croup. Synonyms: roup, hives, choak, stuffing, rising of the lights.
· Cuban Itch - Alastrim
· Cyanosis - Dark blue skin colour from lack of oxygen in blood or poor circulation to the skin. Most noticeable in the fingers, lips and ears
· Cyesis - Pregnancy
· Cynanche - Diseases of throat
· Cynanche Maligna - In an (elderly) adult this could be throat cancer but in a child is probably diphtheria or quinsy
· Cynanche Tonsillaris - Quinsy
· Cynanche Trachealis - Croup
· Cystitis - Inflammation of the bladder
 
D

· D.T. - Delirium tremens
· Dandy Fever - Dengue
· Day fever - Fever lasting one day; sweating sickness
· Death from "teething" - tooth infections with inflammation and cellulitis were clearly important causes of illness and death before there was adequate dentistry.
· Debility - Abnormal bodily weakness or feebleness; decay of strength. This was a term descriptive of a patient's condition and of no help in making a diagnosis. Synonym: asthenia.
· Decline - Tuberculosis (may of course have the usual meaning too)
· Decrepitude - Feebleness due to old age
· Decubitus - Lying down (in bed)
· Decubitus Ulcer - Pressure sore, bed sore
· Decumbiture - The time when a sick person takes to their bed
· Delhi Boil - Cutaneous leishmaniasis
· Delirium Tremens - Confusion, restlessness, terror and hallucinations due to alcoholism especially during withdrawal
· Dementia Praecox - Schizophrenia
· Dengue - Infectious fever endemic to India and other parts of Asia, but also found in Egypt and the West Indies. Caused by a virus and transmitted by the mosquito
· Dentition - Cutting (eruption) of the teeth
· Deplumation - Disease or tumour of the eyelids which causes hair loss
· Diary fever - A fever that lasts one day
· Diathesis - Susceptibility of a person to a type of illness e.g. Bleeding diathesis
· Diphtheria - An acute infectious disease acquired by contact with an infected person or a carrier of the disease. It was usually confined to the upper respiratory tract (throat) and characterised by the formation of a tough membrane (false membrane) attached firmly to the underlying tissue that would bleed if forcibly removed. In the nineteenth century the disease was occasionally confused with scarlet fever and croup.
· Distemper - Disturbed condition of the body or mind; ill health, illness; a mental or physical disorder; disease or ailment or disease usually of animals with malaise and discharge from nose and throat
· Dock Fever - Yellow fever
· Domestic Illness - polite way of saying mental breakdown, depression, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, or the after effects of a stroke or any illness that kept a person housebound and probably in need of nursing support.
· Dropsy - Oedema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease. Dropsy would be called congestive heart failure today. It is an accumulation of fluid around the heart, for a variety of complex reasons, and one treatment is administration of digitalis (foxglove leaves).
· Dropsy of the Brain - Encephalitis
· Dry Bellyache - Abdominal pains due to lead poisoning from medicines containing lead or other sources of lead. Was apparently common in the Caribbean from drinking "green rum" (result of the first distillation) as lead pipes were used between the boiling coppers.
· Dyscrasy - An abnormal body condition
· Dysentery - A term given to a number of disorders marked by inflammation of the intestines (especially of the colon). There are two specific varieties: (1) amoebic dysentery (2) bacillary dysentery. Synonyms: flux, bloody flux, contagious pyrexia (fever), frequent griping stools.
· Dysorexy - Reduced appetite
· Dyspepsia - Indigestion and heartburn. Heart attack symptoms
· Dysuria - Difficulty in or painful urination
· Dysury - Difficulty in or painful urination
 
E

· Eclampsia - A form of toxaemia (toxins--or poisons--in the blood) accompanying pregnancy. See dropsy.
· Eclampsy - Symptoms of epilepsy, convulsions during labour
· Ecstasy - A form of catalepsy characterised by loss of reason
· Edema - Nephrosis; swelling of tissues
· Edema of lungs - Congestive heart failure, a form of dropsy
· Eel Thing - Erysipelas
· Effluvia - Exhalations. In the mid-nineteenth century, they were called "vapours" and distinguished into the contagious effluvia, such as rubeolar (measles); marsh effluvia, such as miasmata.
· Elephantiasis - Swelling of a limb caused by lymphatic obstruction. Leads to thickening of the skin (pachyderma) often used as a synonym for filariasis but may result from syphilis or recurring streptococcal infection (elephantiasis nostra)
· Elephantiasis Nostra - See elephantiasis
· Embolism - Obstruction of a blood vessel by a solid body (blood clot, fat globules or tumour cells) or by a bubble of air
· Emesis - Vomiting
· Emetic - Medicine used to induce vomiting
· Emmanogogues - Medicine used to restore menstruation
· Emphysema - A chronic, irreversible disease of the lungs which may be inherited (alpha 1 anti-trypsin deficiency) or also means the presence of air in a tissue where it is not normally found or is found in amounts greater than normally expected
· Emphysema, pulmonary - A chronic, irreversible disease of the lungs.
· Empiric - A person who practices medicine without formal training; a quack; a charlatan
· Empyema - A collection of pus in any body cavity, but without qualification will be the pleural cavity i.e. The space between the lungs and the chest wall
· Encephalitis - Swelling of brain; aka sleeping sickness
· Endocarditis - Disease of the heart valves. Commonly due to rheumatic fever in the past
· Eneuresis Nocturna - Bedwetting
· English Cholera - An illness resembling cholera but not cholera itself
· Enteric Fever - Typhoid fever
· Enteritis - Inflammation of the bowels
· Enterocolitis - Inflammation of the intestines
· Enteroptoptosis - See visceroptosis
· Epidemic Catarrh - Influenza
· Epidemic Neuritis - Beriberi
· Epilepsy - A disorder of the nervous system, characterised either by mild, episodic loss of attention or sleepiness (petit mal) or by severe convulsions with loss of consciousness (grand mal). Synonyms: falling sickness, fits.
· Epistaxis - Nose bleed
· Epithelioma - Malignant skin cancer that these days would be called squamous cell carcinoma. Caused by sunlight
· Eructation - Belching
· Erysipelas - A contagious skin disease. Synonyms: Rose, Saint Anthony's Fire (from its burning heat or, perhaps, because Saint Anthony was supposed to cure it miraculously).
· Erysipeloid - Skin condition, resembling erysipelas occurring in butchers, fishmongers and cooks. Caused by the erysipelothrix of swine erysipelas
· Erythaema Pernio - Chilblain
· Espundia - Cutaneous leishmaniasis (brazil)
· Euphoria - Inappropriate happiness or laughing. Could be due to mania or in servicemen shell-shock, battle fatigue, post engagement stress syndrome
· Exanthem(a) - A rash. Acute exanthem will usually mean one of the children's infectious illnesses which have a rash (measles, rubella etc) Plural is exanthemata
· Excrescence - An unnatural or disfiguring outgrowth of the skin or any unnecessary physical development
· Exhaustion - I think means a lingering death. Similarly, syncope is sudden deaths. The use of both of these terms is now frowned upon as they describing a mode of death whereas the certificate should indicate a cause of death or ideally a diagnosis
· Extravasated - Describes blood outside the circulation
· Extravastaed blood - rupture of a blood vessel
 
F

· Fainting Fits - Probably a euphemism for epilepsy
· Falling sickness - Epilepsy
· Fatty Liver - Cirrhosis of liver
· Fatuity - Imbecility, dementia
· Fauces - Area of the back of the mouth where the tonsils and adenoids are sited
· Felo De Se - Suicide by one of sound mind
· Felon - A whitlow or any other festering sore
· Fibrinous Angina - Sore throat resembling diphtheria but not fatal
· Fibrinous Bronchitis - Chronic bronchitis or possibly asthma
· Fits - Sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity
· Flooding - Uterine haemorrhage, possibly during childbirth
· Flux - An excessive flow or discharge of any of the bodies secretions or excretions or dysentery
· Flux of humour - Circulation
· Foetid Bronchitis - Bronchiectasis
· Foetor Oris - Bad breath
· French Pox - Syphilis
· Frogg - Croup
· Fungus - A type of microorganism causing problems like ringworm and athlete's foot or a tumour, especially skin cancer. Fungus in a medical sense means proud tissue
· Furuncle - Boil
 
G

· Galloping Consumption - Pulmonary tuberculosis
· Gangrene - Death and decay of tissue in a part of the body, usually a limb, due to injury, disease, or failure of blood supply. Synonym: mortification.
· Gangrenous Stomatitis - Cancrum oris
· Gangrenous Ulceration Of The Mouth - Cancrum oris
· Gathering - A collection of pus
· General Paralysis Of The Insane - Tertiary syphilis of the brain. Causes dementia.
· Glandular Fever - Mononucleosis or infectious mononucleosis
· Glass Pox - Alastrim
· Gleet - Discharge from the urethra
· Gleet - See catarrh.
· Gout - any inflammation, not just in a joint or extremity, caused by the formation of crystals of oxalic acid when it accumulates in the body. It most often occurs in joints where circulation is poor, and can even cause gallstones or kidney stones. Gout is a disease caused by a build-up of urate or uric acid in the body, which crystallises out in areas without much rapid blood flow and can cause damage when, for example a toe is stubbed.
· Gout Of The Stomach - Gout is a very painful form of arthritis and has the reputation of being an illness of people who consume rich food or lots of alcohol. Therefore, gout of the stomach could mean severe stomach pain after a rich meal, which would probably be a stomach ulcer
· Gravel - A disease characterised by small stones which are formed in the kidneys, passed along the ureters to the bladder, and expelled with the urine. Synonym: kidney stone.
· Great Pox - Syphilis
· Green Fever - Anaemia (iron deficiency)
· Green Sickness - Anaemia (iron deficiency)
· Grip - Influenza
· Gripe - Influenza
· Griped - With respect to the bowels: afflicted with spasmodic pain as if by contraction or constriction
· Grippe - Influenza
· Grocer's itch - Skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour
· Grog Blossoms - Pimples on the nose in acne rosacea
 
H

· Haematemesis - Vomiting blood
· Haematuria - Bloody urine
· Hammer Nose - The swollen nose of acne rosacea
· Heart Dropsy - Hydropericardium
· 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
· Hectic fever - A daily recurring fever with profound sweating, chills, and flushed appearance-- often associated with pulmonary tuberculosis or septic poisoning.
· Hectic(al) Fever or hectic complaint - A daily recurring fever with profound sweating, chills, and flushed appearance often associated with pulmonary tuberculosis or septic poisoning
· Hectical complaint - Recurrent fever
· Hematemesis - Vomiting blood
· Hematuria - Bloody urine
· Hemiplegy or Hemiplegia - Paralysis of one side of body
· Hip Gout - Osteomyelitis
· Hippocratic Fingers - Finger clubbing. Club shaped deformity of the ends of the fingers is seen in long standing lung and heart problems
· Hives - A skin eruption of smooth, slightly elevated areas on the skin which is redder or paler than the surrounding skin. Often attended by severe itching. Also called cynanche trachealis. In the mid-nineteenth century, hives was a commonly given cause of death of children three years and under. Because true hives does not kill, croup was probably the actual cause of death in those children.
· Homesickness - See nostalgia
· Horrors - Delirium tremens
· Hospital Fever - Typhus
· Hydatid Disease - Disease where cysts result from ingestion of the dog tapeworm. Cysts grow mainly in the liver and lungs, but can occur elsewhere
· Hydrocephalus - Enlarged head, water on the brain
· Hydropericardium - Excessive fluid in the space around the heart leading to constriction of the heart
· Hydrophobia - Rabies
· Hydropsy - Dropsy - dropsy is a contraction of hydropsy
· Hydrothorax - Fluid within the chest. Usually will mean fluid in the space around the lungs i.e. A pleural effusion
· Hypertrophic - Enlargement of organ, like the heart
· Hypertrophy - Enlargement of any tissue or organ, but not due to its natural growth
· Hypostrophe - A relapse of an illness
· Hysteritis - Inflammation of the uterus
 
I

· Ichor - Leakage of fluid from a sore or wound (originally was the blood of the ancient Greek gods)
· Icterus - Jaundice
· Ictus - Fit (convulsion); sudden pulsation or stroke
· Ictus Solis - May mean sunstroke
· Idiopathic - Means an illness where the cause is not known
· Impetigo - Contagious skin disease usually of the face characterised by pustules and crusts
· Inanition - Exhaustion from lack of nourishment. In the new-born, this could mean prematurity
· Incubus - Nightmare; demon taking on male form to have sexual intercourse with a woman in her sleep
· Infant Child - Stillborn or sudden infant death syndrome (cot death)
· Infantile Paralysis - Poliomyelitis (polio)
· Infection - In the early part of the last century, infections were thought to be the propagation of disease by effluvia (see above) from patients crowded together. "Miasms" were believed to be substances which could not be seen in any form--emanations not apparent to the senses. Such miasms were understood to act by infection.
· Inflammation - Redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, heat, and disturbed function of an area of the body. In the last century, cause of death often was listed as inflammation of a body organ such as, brain or lung but this was purely a descriptive term and is not helpful in identifying the actual underlying disease
· Insolation - Generally means to dry out using sunlight (like sun dried tomatoes) but could mean sun-stroke or heat exposure
· Intermittent Fever - Illness marked by episodes of fever with return to completely normal temperature. Usually malaria
· Intestinal colic - Abdominal pain due to improper diet
· Intussusception - This is where one part of the bowel telescopes into the next piece of bowel causing a blockage
· Ischury - Retention of urine. May be a complication of childbirth
 
J

· Jail Fever - Typhus
· Jaundice - Yellow discoloration of the skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous membranes, due to an increase of bile pigments in the blood. Synonym: icterus.
· Jiggers - chiggers
· Jungle Fever - Malaria
 
K

· Kaffir Pox - Alastrim
· Kakke - Beriberi
· Kala Azar - Visceral leishmaniasis
· Kandahar Sore - Cutaneous leishmaniasis
· Kidney stone - See gravel.
· King's Evil - A popular name for scrofula. The name originated in the time of Edward the Confessor, with the belief that the disease could be cured by the touch of the King of England
· Kink - Fit of coughing or choking
· Kinkcough - Whooping cough
· Kruchhusten - Whooping cough
 
L

· La Grippe - Influenza
· Laudable Pus - Term indicating that the discharge of pus from an infected wound is a good sign
· Lead Poisoning - Causes paralysis of muscles in the limbs (often in a patchy pattern). In chronic exposure, there is anaemia and a blue line on the gums. If the amount ingested is great enough there may be colic or headache and acute or chronic encephalopathy, causing mental changes and fits. The picture may resemble porphyria (the portrayal of porphyria in the movie "Madness of King George" is accurate)
· Leishmaniasis - Infection caused by a parasite transmitted by sandflies. There are two forms visceral (affecting internal organs) and cutaneous (affecting the skin) the former causes fever and enlargement of the liver, spleen and lymph nodes and the latter skin ulcers
· Lepra - Leprosy
· Lepto-Meningitis - inflammation of the inner covering membranes (arachnoid mata and pia mata) of the brain or spinal cord
· Leucorrhoea (Leukorrhoea) - Vaginal discharge
· Lineae Albicantes - Striae or marks on the abdomen often called stretch marks after pregnancy
· Little's Disease - Spastic diplegia
· Lockjaw - Tetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw. Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days
· Locomotor Ataxia (Ataxy) - Syphilis of the spinal cord. The modern term is tabes dorsalis
· Long Sickness - Tuberculosis
· Lues disease - Syphilis
· Lues Venera - Any venereal disease, but probably syphilis
· Lumbago - Back pain
· Lung Fever - Pneumonia or tuberculosis
· Lung Sickness - Tuberculosis
· Lupus Pernio - Form of sarcoidosis
· Lupus Vulgaris - Tuberculosis of the skin
 
M

· Lying In - Time of delivery of infant
· Malaria - Malaria is a widespread disease caused by a parasite in the blood. The mosquito transmits it. The mosquito lays its eggs in pools of standing water especially in those contaminated by sewage. Malaria used to be widespread and was found even in temperate areas like the UK, but improved sanitation has restricted the areas where the mosquito can breed successfully, so malaria is now only found in less sanitary areas of the world
· Malignant Fever - Typhus
· Malignant Purpuric Fever - Meningitis (meningococcal)
· Malignant Pustule - Anthrax
· Malignant Sore Throat - Diphtheria
· Malta Fever - Brucellosis
· Mania - Form of insanity characterised by inappropriate happiness, mental and physical restlessness and grandiose delusions
· Marasmus - Malnutrition occurring in infants and young children, caused by an insufficient intake of calories or protein.
· Marsh Fever - malaria
· Mayer - Physician
· Mediterranean Fever - Brucellosis
· Melaena - Black or tarry stools. Caused by bleeding into the upper gut e.g. From a stomach ulcer
· Melancholia - Severe depression
· Membranous Croup - Diphtheria
· Meningitis - Inflammation of the meninges (a membrane covering the brain) characterised by high fever, severe headache, and stiff neck or back muscles. Synonym: brain fever.
· Menorrhagia - Excessive menstrual bleeding. Can be severe enough to cause death from blood loss
· Meteorism - Flatulent distension of the abdomen with gas in the gut
· Metritis - Inflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal discharge
· Miasma - Poisonous vapours thought to infect the air and cause disease
· Miliaria - Sweat rash or prickly heat
· Milk fever - Disease from drinking contaminated milk, like undulant fever or brucellosis
· Milk Leg - Thrombosis of veins in the thigh usually seen after childbirth (at one time thought to be due to excess milk being directed to the leg)
· Milk Pox - Alastrim
· Milk Sick - poisoning resulting from the drinking of milk produced by a cow who had eaten a plant known as white snake root
· Mitral Regurgitation - Means that the mitral valve of the heart does not close properly and so leaks. This results in the heart working harder and to heart failure. The commonest causes of mitral regurgitation are rheumatic fever and high blood pressure
· Mollities Ossium - Osteomalacia
· Monthly Nurse - A midwife
· Morbilli - Measles
· Morbus - Disease
· Morbus Cordis - Means no more than heart disease. Probably used by doctors when they did not know the exact cause of death but were sure it was natural causes. May sometimes mean heart failure
· Morbus Gallicus - Syphilis (the French disease)
· Mormal - Gangrene
· Morphew - A skin eruption or the blisters of scurvy
· Mortification - Used in the medical sense: gangrene, necrosis or severe infection
· Mortis - Death
· Myelitis - Inflammation of the spinal cord
· Myocardial Degeneration - Means degeneration of heart muscle, but is often used as a euphemism for old age
· Myocarditis - Inflammation of heart muscles
 
N

· Natal Sore - Cutaneous leishmaniasis
· Natural Causes - Means a death not from homicide, accident or suicide. Probably issued by a coroner after an inquest. As most coroners are lawyers rather than doctors, the certificates they issue tend to be a verdict rather than a diagnosis. The policy in the UK is to destroy inquest records after 30 years, although some survive. Most inquests are reported by local newspapers but I don't think they are available abroad
· Natural Decay - Old age
· Necrosis - Mortification of bones or tissue
· Nephritis - Inflammation of the kidney
· Nephrosis - Any kidney degeneration
· Nepritis - Inflammation of kidneys
· Nervous prostration - Extreme exhaustion from inability to control physical and mental activities
· Nettle Rash (Or Nettlerash) - Urticaria or hives. Nettle is a plant found in the UK (and elsewhere I suppose) that can sting the skin and causes an allergic rash. The medical term for this is urticaria and the lay term is hives. Allergy can be very debilitating and even life threatening as in anaphylaxis
· Neuralgia - Sharp and paroxysmal pain along the course of a sensory nerve
· Neurasthenia - Neurasthenia means weakness of the nerves. This is not a diagnosis. Often applied to women. The term is used nowadays more as a description of a person's personality than their illness. It can be derogatory. It is a euphemism for stupid, emotional, neurotic or inadequate (women were though of thus in the past) it can also mean depression of even mental handicap. Probably used in a similar way in the past. It is a way of using a medical sounding word to describe a problem that is not an illness
· Noma - Cancrum oris
· Nostalgia - Homesickness, especially a severe and sometimes fatal form of melancholia but also a longing for the comforts of home or to return home. In a military setting, this is probably shell shock or battle fatigue. It resulted in may soldiers being shot for treason as their illness lead them to becoming deserters
 
O

· Oedema - Fluid retention
· Old Age - In this technological age, many feel that people have to have an illness to cause their death. Many death certificates show an imprecise diagnosis (myocardial degeneration, morbus cordis, etc.) As the attending doctor feels obliged to conform to this view. I think that some elderly people do in fact die simply of old age. The registrars in the UK are happy to accept old age as a cause of death. The use of the term old age or any of its euphemisms does not indicate that the attending doctor did not know the cause of death. Rather he (or she) was being honest
· Organic - Indicates an illness where there is structural change i.e. A physical disease rather than a psychological one
· Organic Brain Disease Or Syndrome - Dementia
· Oriental Boil - Cutaneous leishmaniasis
 
P

· Pachyderma - Thickening of the skin
· Palsy - Paralysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles. It was listed as "Cause of death"
· Paludism - Malaria
· Panada - Bread boiled in water to a pulp and flavoured - a food for invalids
· Paralysis Agitans - Parkinson's disease
· Paravariola - Alastrim
· Paristhmitis - Quinsy
· Paroxysm - Usually means a convulsion (fit) Paroxysmal means anything that happens suddenly or unexpectedly
· Paroxysmal Fever - Malaria
· Parturition - Labour or the process of childbirth (generally only used when pregnancy had reached term)
· Pellegra - Nicotinic acid (a b vitamin) deficiency
· Pemphigus - Skin disease of watery blisters
· Penny Pots - Pimples on the nose of a heavy drinker (probably acne rosacea)
· Pericarditis - Inflammation of the pericardium (a membrane surrounding the heart)
· Periodic Fever - malaria
· Peripneumonia - Inflammation of lungs
· Peritonitis - Inflammation of the peritoneum (a membrane that surrounds the abdominal organs)
· Perityphilitis - Appendicitis
· Pernicious Anaemia - Anaemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. In modern times the term is actually reserved for people whose stomachs fail to produce adequate amounts of a chemical called intrinsic factor which is necessary for vitamin B12 to be absorbed (may be called Addisonian pernicious anaemia). This means that B12 injections are given. There is an increased incidence of stomach cancer in people with pernicious anaemia. Nutritional B12 deficiency is rare in the UK except in Asian immigrant women
· Pertussis - Whooping cough
· Pestis - Bubonic plague
· Petechial Fever - Meningitis (meningococcal) or typhus
· Petu Or Petun - Old terms for tobacco
· Philippine Itch - Alastrim
· Phlegmasia Alba Dolens - Thrombosis of veins in the thigh usually seen after childbirth. Death probably resulted from a piece of clot breaking off and moving to the lung (pulmonary embolus)
· Phrenitis - Inflammation of the brain
· Phthiriasis - An infestation with lice
· Phthisis - Literally means a wasting disease but almost invariably will mean Pulmonary tuberculosis or any of various lung or throat affections; a severe cough; asthma
· Phthisis Pneumonalis - Pulmonary TB
· Phthysis - See phthisis
· Pica - Abnormal craving to eat unusual things such as chalk or hair or faeces
· Pigeon Chest Or Breast - Chest deformity usually seen in rickets
· Pink Disease - Disease of teething infants due to mercury poisoning from teething powders
· Plague - An acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rate
· Plague/Black Death - Bubonic Plague
· Plaque - May be used as an old term for blood platelets
· Plastic Bronchitis - Chronic bronchitis or possibly asthma
· Pleurisy - Inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the chest cavity. Symptoms are chills, fever, dry cough, and pain in the affected side (a stitch).
· Pneumonia - Inflammation of the lungs
· Podagra - Gout (literally foot pain)
· Poker Back - Ankylosing spondylitis
· Poliomyelitis - Polio, Potter's Asthma
· Potter's Asthma - Emphysema (common in potters in the past) I have seen tuberculosis given as an interpretation, but prefer emphysema as this could be an industrial disease whereas TB depends on housing conditions
· Pott's Disease - tuberculosis of the spine with destruction of the bone resulting in curvature of the spine
· Pox - Usually syphilis
· Pre-Eclampsia - Mild eclampsia. Symptoms are oedema, raised blood pressure and protein in the urine. If not treated could progress to eclampsia. See eclampsia
· Protein Disease - Nephrotic syndrome. A once relatively common childhood kidney disease that causes the kidney to leak protein. Often a complication of streptococcal infection
· Pseudosmallpox - Alastrim
· Pseudovariola - Alastrim
· Puerperal exhaustion - Death due to childbirth
· Puerperal Fever Or Septicaemia - Infection after childbirth due to poor midwifery techniques especially antiseptic measures. Infection entered through injuries to the birth canal leading to septicaemia and often to death. Occurs within 3 weeks of childbirth
· Puking fever - Milk sickness
· Pulmonary Apoplexy - could be a pulmonary embolus or a severe asthma attack
· Purples - Nowadays purpura. This is a rash due to spontaneous bleeding in to the skin. There are many causes. The age of the victim would be relevant. Pinhead sized bruises are called petechiae.
· Putrid Fever - Typhus or diphtheria
· Putrid Sore Throat - Ulceration of the tonsils or diphtheria
· Pyaemia - Septicaemia
· Pyelitis - Infection or disease of the renal pelvis i.e. That part of the kidney where urine collects before it passes down the ureter to the bladder
· Pyrexia - See dysentery.
· Pyrosis - Heartburn
 
Q

· Quaternary Fever - Form of malaria with peaks of fever every fourth day
· Quincke's Disease - Angioneurotic oedema - severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction
· Quinsy - An acute inflammation of the tonsils, often leading to an abscess. Synonyms: suppurative tonsillitis, cynanche tonsillaris, paristhmitis, sore throat.
 
R

· Rachitic - Relating to rickets
· Rachitic Rosary - Swelling of the joints between the ribs and the breast-bone seen in rickets
· Rag-Picker's Disease - Anthrax
· Railway Spine - Back injury with injury to the spinal cord (common in railway workers)
· Ramollissement - Means a morbid softening of a tissue or organ
· Remitting Fever - Malaria
· Rheumatism - Any disorder associated with pain in joints
· Rickets - Disease of skeletal system mainly due to vitamin d deficiency
· Rising Of The Lights - Croup
· Rodent Ulcer - Type of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma)
· Rose - Erysipelas
· Rose Cold - Hay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy
· Roseola - Rash seen in the secondary stage of syphilis
· Rotanny fever - Child's disease
· Roup - Croup
· Rubella - German measles
 
S

· Samoan Pox - Alastrim
· Sanguinous Crust - Scab
· Sarcoma - Malignant tumour similar to carcinoma but arising from connective tissue (usually bone or muscle), rather than glandular tissue. Tends to afflict younger people than carcinoma
· Scarlatina - Scarlet fever. A contagious disease.
· Scarlet Fever - Acute infectious fever with rash caused by haemolytic streptococcus infection in the throat
· Scarlet Rash - Scarlet fever
· Sciatica - Rheumatism in the hips
· Scirrhous - Refers to a growth, often a carcinoma, which was hard and strong due to dense fibrous tissue
· Scirrhus - A large, hard, and painless swelling, often cancer
· Scorbutus - Scurvy
· Scotoma - Disturbance of vision causing dizziness
· Scotomy - Dizziness, nausea and dimness of sight
· Screws - Rheumatism
· Scrivener's Palsy - Writer's cramp
· Scrofula - Primary tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, especially those in the neck. A disease of children and young adults. Synonym: king's evil.
· Scrumpox - Skin disease, impetigo
· Scurvy - Lack of vitamin c. Symptoms of weakness, spongy gums and haemorrhages under skin
· Senectus - Old age
· Senile Decay - Old age
· Septic - Infected, a condition of local or generalised invasion of the body by disease-causing germs.
· Septicaemia - Blood poisoning
· Sequestrum - Piece of dead bone
· Serum Sickness - Anaphylaxis
· Shakes - Delirium tremens or Malaria
· Shaking - Chills, ague
· Shaking Chills - Ague
· Shaking Palsy - Parkinson's disease
· Shingles - Viral disease with painful skin blisters in a band or line on the body. Caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox
· Ship Fever - Typhus
· Silicosis - Lung disease caused by breathing in mineral dust
· Simple Angina - Sore throat
· Siriasis - Inflammation of the brain due to sun exposure
· Sloes - Milk sickness
· Slough - Infected tissue that has died and separated from healthy tissue
· Small Pox - Contagious viral disease with fever and blisters. Now eradicated. Incubation period was 7 to 14 days. Several degrees of severity (in increasing order) discrete, confluent, haemorrhagic and malignant
· Softening of brain - Result of stroke or haemorrhage in the brain, with an end result of the tissue softening in that area
· Sore Throat Distemper - Diphtheria or quinsy
· Spanish Disease - Syphilis
· Spanish Influenza - Epidemic influenza
· Spasms - Sudden involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles,like a convulsion
· Spastic - Stiffness of muscles or joints
· Spina bifida - Deformity of spine
· Splanchmoptosis - See visceroptosis
· Splenic Fever - Anthrax in animals (other than humans)
· Spotted Fever - Typhus or occasionally meningococcal meningitis
· Spring Nettle - Nettle rash
· Sprue - Chronic malabsorption with sore tongue, indigestion, weakness, anaemia and greasy stools
· Squinancy - Quinsy
· St. Anthony's fire - Also erysipelas, but named so because of affected skin areas are bright red in appearance
· St. Vitus Dance - Ceaseless occurrence of rapid jerking movements performed involuntary. Complication of streptococcal infection. A pilgrimage to the shrine of St Vitus (patron saint of dancers) was supposed to cure the condition
· Stitches - Pleurisy
· Stomatitis - Inflammation of the mouth
· Stranger's fever - Yellow fever
· Strangery - Rupture
· Strangury - Painful urination or may mean rupture
· Strophulus - Sweat rash or prickly heat
· Struma - Goitre (swelling of the thyroid gland at the front of the neck)
· Stuffing - Croup
· Sudor Anglicus - Sweating sickness
· Suffocative Breast Pang - Angina pectoris
· Suffocative Catarrh - Croup
· Summer Complaint - dysentry or baby diarrhea caused by spoiled milk
· Sunstroke - Uncontrolled elevation of body temperature due to environment heat. Lack of sodium in the body is a predisposing cause
· Suppuration - The production of pus.
· Surfeit/Surfit - Means vomiting from over eating or gluttony. If someone does not eat for a while and then eats a large meal they can become very ill and gluttony could imply obesity. I like obesity as a better explanation
· Swamp sickness - Could be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis
· Sweating sickness - Infectious and fatal disease common to UK in 15th century
· Sycosis Barbae - Infection of the hair follicles of the beard area
· Syncope - This term means loss of consciousness as in a faint. I think on death certificates it indicates a sudden death. Similarly, exhaustion is a lingering death. The use of both of these terms is now frowned upon as they describing a mode of death whereas the certificate should indicate a cause of death
· Synochus - Continued fever. Term does not imply cause of the fever.
 
T

· Tabes Dorsalis - Syphilis of the spinal cord
· Tabes Mesenterica - Tuberculosis of lymph glands inside the abdomen. An illness of children
· Teething - The entire process which results in the eruption of the teeth. Nineteenth-century medical reports stated that infants were more prone to disease at the time of teething. Symptoms were restlessness, fretfulness, convulsions, diarrhoea, and painful and swollen gums. The latter could be relieved by lancing over the protruding tooth. Often teething was reported as a cause of death in infants. Perhaps they became susceptible to infections, especially if lancing was performed without antisepsis. Another explanation of teething as a cause of death is that infants were often weaned at the time of teething; perhaps they then died from drinking contaminated milk, leading to an infection, or from malnutrition if watered-down milk was given.
· Tenesmus - Painful and unsuccessful desire to defaecate
· Tertian Fever - Form of malaria with peaks of fever every third day
· Testaceous Powders - Medicinal powders prepared from the shells of animals
· Tetanus - An infectious, often-fatal disease caused by a specific bacterium that enters the body through wounds. Causes fear of water and severe muscle spasms especially of the jaw muscles
· Tetanus Neonatorum - Tetanus in the new born due to infection of the umbilical cord stump following birth in unhygienic conditions
· Throat Fever - Probably diphtheria
· Thrombosis - Blood clot inside blood vessel
· Thrush - Candida of the mouth. Whitish spots and ulcers on the membranes of the mouth, tongue, and fauces (this is the area at the back of the mouth where the tonsils are) caused by a parasitic fungus
· Tick fever - Rocky mountain spotted fever
· Tinea Sycosis - Infection of the hair follicles of the beard area
· Tisick - A cough
· Tissick - A cough
· Tokens - See purples
· Tophi - Plural of tophus
· Tophus - Swelling seen near joints or in cartilage (especially the external ear) in gout
· Tormina - Acute wringing pains in the abdomen; colic, gripes
· Toxaemia Of Pregnancy - Eclampsia (high blood pressure oedema and seizures in pregnancy)
· Trench Fever - Typhus
· Trench Mouth - Painful ulcers found along gum line, caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene
· Trismus - Tetanus. Strictly speaking this is the inability to open the mouth because of spasm of the chewing muscles i.e. It is a symptom of tetanus
· Trismus nascentium - A form of tetanus seen only in infants, almost invariably in the first five days of life.
· Tumid - Swollen, inflated, protuberant, bulging
· Tussis Convulsiva - Whooping cough
· Typhilitis - Appendicitis
· Typhoid fever - An infectious, often-fatal disease, usually occurring in the summer months--characterised by intestinal inflammation and ulceration. The name came from the disease's similarity to typhus (see below). Synonym: enteric fever.
· Typhus - An acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. The epidemic or classic form is louse borne; the endemic or murine is flea borne. Synonyms: typhus fever, malignant fever (in the 1850s), jail fever, hospital fever, ship fever, putrid fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, petechial fever, camp fever.
 
U

· Undulant Fever - Brucellosis
· Uta - Cutaneous leishmaniasis (Peruvian Andes)
 
V

· Vaginal Catarrh - Vaginal discharge
· Valetudinary - Tendency to be in poor health or to be overly concerned about one's health
· Varicella - Chickenpox
· Varicocoele (Varicocele) - A varicose vein of the vein of the testicle.
· Variola - Smallpox
· Variola Minor - Alastrim
· Variola-Alastrim - Alastrim
· Venesection - Bleeding (used as a treatment)
· Viper's Dance - St. Vitus dance, chorea
· Viscera - Plural form of viscus i.e. Internal organs
· Visceroptosis - Meaning is downward displacement of an internal organ due to weakness of the abdominal muscles and internal ligaments. Many symptoms were attributed to this problem but I cannot explain how this relates to illness as it is not a sign of disease that I am aware of
· Viscus - Internal organ
· Visitation Of God - Probably means old age or natural causes. Visitation of God might imply punishment by God.
· Vulnus - A wound
 
W

· War Nephritis - Acute nephritis
· Water Canker - Cancrum oris
· Water Gripes - Cholera infantum
· Water On (The) Brain - Hydrocephalus in an infant or a child or in someone older could be any brain disease.
· Weaning Brash - Cholera infantum (brash means heartburn i.e. Belching of stomach acid)
· White Death - I think this may be diphtheria.
· White Fever - Tuberculosis
· White Leg - Thrombosis of veins in the thigh. Usually seen after childbirth
· White Pox - Alastrim
· White Swelling - Tuberculosis of the bone
· White Throat - Diphtheria
· Whitlow - Infection beginning at the edge of a nail and spreading in a line up the limb; a paronychia
· Winter Fever - Pneumonia
· Womb Fever - Infection of the uterus
· Woody Tongue - Name given to actinomycosis in cattle and pigs
· Wool-Sorter's Disease - Anthrax
· Worm Fever - I think worm fever is a term that may indicate the ignorance (or naivety to be kind) of doctors in the past. Of the three common types of worm (thread, round and in the past tape) none would cause what anyone today would consider an illness. It is likely that the cause of death was an unrecognised fever (possibly one where there would be diarrhoea like typhoid and worms would be passed) in someone who just happened to have worms.
· Worm Fit - Convulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature or diarrhoea
 
Y

· Yellow Fever - An acute, often fatal, infectious disease of warm climates caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes
· Yellow Jacket - Yellow fever
· Yellow Landers - Jaundice