ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Medicine & Health Science

Translating Olde Medical Terms

Updated on May 1, 2012
John Wayne in 1937
John Wayne in 1937

Okay, so I am watching an old western movie with John Wayne. His buddy was shot and the old alcohol ridden doc arrives on the scene. Looks at his eyes, listens to his chest, opens his black bag and pulls out a metal thingy, taps the man. The Doc glances up at a young Wayne.

"How long he's been this way"? he asks. "Well, that's just it Doc. Hell if I know. I just got here, I gave him a little whiskey to ease the pain", Wayne responds. Doc looks at his wound.

"He's got mortification, real bad". Wayne scratches his head (as I, the viewer does), "You mean he's dead"?, Wayne asks. "Nope", Doc responds. The two men look at one another. "I thought a big word like that meant he's dead", Wayne states. The Doc laughs. "I mean, he's got gangrene, gut rot". Wayne dusts off his pants, "Hell, why didn't you just say that?".

If you find moments like these when old medical terms are spouted out by doctors from eons ago in a movie, below is a translated list:

  • Ague - Malaria
  • Brain Fever - Meningitis
  • Catarrh - mucous discharge from nose to throat- causes a tickle and cough
  • Consumption - Tuberculosis
  • Grippe - the Flu
  • Humid Tetter - Eczema
  • Ship\Jail Fever - Typhus
  • Lues - Syphillis
  • Morphew - severe case of lack of Vitamin C
  • Podagra - Gout
  • Stopping - Constipation
  • Variola - Smallpox

Just like many other words, time makes many words of one generation obsolete. For instance, knickers. A very common word back between 1900-1940, although, by 1940, it was not used much. Ask anyone whose parents did not use the word and they are clueless. I recall my dad using it a few times. Knickers are today's Capri pants or Board shorts. Knickers, were worn by men, they were baggy pants with a length to mid-calf.

As times change, so does a language.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 6 years ago

      What is it?

    • JasonL99 profile image

      JasonL99 6 years ago

      Does anybody still get Variola?

    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 6 years ago

      Thanks, I agree. Some of the medical terms are odd.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      This is quite interesting and I didn't know some of the terms meant what you wrote. I always ask my doctor to explain terms I am unfamiliar with so that I can understand my condition. Guess this would have helped back then also.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)