Old Time Disease Names
Morris County, New Jersey

Morris Co. Up


The following is a generalized list of diseases and their definitions that I have found during my research. Some definitions are subject to opinion and/or debate, but should give you a few clues.

ABLEPSYBlindness
ABSCESSA 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
ABLEPSYBlindness
ACUTE MANIASevere insanity
ADDISON'S DISEASEA 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. Also known as bronzed skin disease
AFRICAN CONSUMPTIONTuberculosis
AGUEUsed to define the recurring fever & chills of malarial infection
AMERICAN PLAGUEYellow fever
ANASARCAGeneralized massive edema (swelling) - generalized dropsy
ANGINA PECTORISParoxysms with severe pain in lower chest, feeling of suffocation
APHONIALaryngitis
APHTHAThrush
APOPLEXYParalysis due to stroke
ASPHYCSIA/ASPHICSIACyanotic and lack of oxygen
ATROPHYWasting away (generally from lack of use, i.e. muscles)
BAD BLOODSyphilis
BILIOUS FEVERTyphoid, malaria, hepatitis
BILIOUSNESSJaundice or other symptoms associated with liver disease; may also have been any upset leading to vomiting bile or just vomiting
BLACK FEVERAcute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions and high mortality rate
BLACK JAUNDICEWiel's Disease; Black Water fever (deadly form of malaria)
BLACK LUNGInflammation of the lungs as a result of breathing coal dust
BLACK PLAGUE OR DEATHBubonic plague
BLACK POXBlack Smallpox
BLACK VOMITVomiting old black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever
BLACKWATER FEVERDark urine associated with high temperature (deadly form of malaria)
BLADDER IN THROATDiphtheria (?)
BLOOD POISONINGBacterial infection; septicemia
BLOODY FLUXBloody stools
BLOODY SWEATSweating sickness
BONE SHAVESciatica
BRAIN FEVERMeningitis
BREAKBONEDengue fever
BRIGHT'S DISEASEChronic inflammatory disease of kidneys
BRONZE JOHNYellow fever
BRUCELLOSISHumans become infected by coming in contact with animals or animal products that are contaminated with these bacteria. In humans brucellosis can cause a range of symptoms that are similar to the flu and may include fever, sweats, headaches, back pains, and physical weakness. Sever infections of the central nervous systems or lining of the heart may occur. Brucellosis cab also cause long-lasting or chronic symptoms that include recurrent fevers, joint pain, and fatigue - See MILK FEVER
BULEBoil, tumor or swelling
CACHEXYMalnutrition
CACOGASTRICUpset stomach
CACOSPYSYIrregular pulse
CADUCEUSSubject to falling sickness or epilepsy
CAMP FEVERTyphus; aka Camp diarrhea
CANINE MADNESSRabies, hydrophobia
CANKERUlceration of mouth or lips or herpes simplex
CATALEPSYSeizures / trances
CATARRHALNose and throat discharge from cold or allergy
CEREBRITISInflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning
CHILBLAINSwelling of extremities caused by exposure to cold
CHILD BED FEVERInfection following birth of a child
CHIN COUGHWhooping cough
CHLOROSISIron deficiency anemia; leukemia
CHOLECYSTITUSInflammation of the gall bladder
CHOLELITHIASISGall stones
CHOLERAAcute severe contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing
CHOLERA MORBUSCharacterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated temperature, etc. Could be appendicitis
CHOREADisease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing
COLD PLAGUEAgue which is characterized by chills
COLICAn abdominal pain and cramping
COMMOTIONConcussion
CONGESTIONAny collection of fluid in an organ, like the lungs
CONGESTIVE CHILLSMalaria
CONGESTIVE CHILLSMalaria with diarrhea
CONGESTIVE FEVERMalaria
CONSUMPTIONTuberculosis; Wasting sickness
CORRUPTIONInfection
CORYZAA cold
COSTIVENESSConstipation
CRAMP COLICAppendicitis
CROP SICKNESSOverextended stomach
CROUPLaryngitis, diphtheria, or strep throat
CYANOSISDark skin color from lack of oxygen in blood
CYNANCHEDiseases of throat
CYSTITISInflammation of the bladder
DAY FEVERFever lasting one day; sweating sickness
DEBILITYLack of movement or staying in bed
DECREPITUDEFeebleness due to old age
DELIRIUM TREMENSHallucinations due to alcoholism
DENGUEInfectious fever endemic to East Africa
DENTITIONCutting of teeth
DEPLUMATIONTumor of the eyelids which causes hair loss
DIARY FEVERA fever that lasts one day
DIPTHERIAContagious disease of the throat
DISTEMPERUsually animal disease with malaise, discharge from nose and throat, anorexia
DOCK FEVERYellow fever
DROPSYEdema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease
DROPSY OF THE BRAINEncephalitis
DRY BELLYACHELead poisoning
DYSCRASYAn abnormal body condition
DYSENTERYInflammation of colon with frequent passage of mucous and blood
DYSOREXYReduced appetite
DYSPEPSIAIndigestion and heartburn. Heart attack symptoms
DYSURYDifficulty in urination
ECLAMPSYSymptoms of epilepsy, convulsions during labor
ECSTASYA form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason
EDEMANephrosis; swelling of tissues
EDEMA OF LUNGSCongestive heart failure, a form of dropsy
EEL THINGErysipelas
ELEPHANTIASISA form of leprosy
ENCEPHALITISSwelling of brain; aka sleeping sickness
ENTERIC FEVERTyphoid fever
ENTERITISInflations of the bowels
ENTEROCOLITISInflammation of the intestines
EPITAXISNose bleed
ERYSIPELASContagious skin disease, due to Streptococci with vesicular and bulbous lesions

erysipelas: Contagious infection of the skin and underlying tissue, caused by group A B-hemolytic streptococcus bacteria. Erysipelas causes affected areas of skin to turn bright red and become slightly swollen. The swollen blotches have a distinct border and slowly expand into the surrounding skin. The lesions are most commonly seen on the face, scalp, hands, and legs. They feel hot to the touch and the patient is feverish. Centuries ago erysipelas epidemics caused severe and often fatal infections. Today erysipelas is a rather mild and relatively rare infection that clears up rapidly when penicillin or other antibiotics are taken

EXTRAVASTED BLOODRupture of a blood vessel
FALLING SICKNESSEpilepsy
FATTY LIVERCirrhosis of liver
FITSSudden attack or seizure of muscle activity
FLUXAn excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea
FLUX OF HUMOURCirculation
FRENCH POXSyphilis
GATHERINGA collection of pus
GLANDULAR FEVERMononucleosis
GOUTan inflammation usually of an extremity
GREAT POXSyphilis
GREEN FEVER / SICKNESSAnemia
GRIPPE/GRIPInfluenza like symptoms
GROCER'S ITCHSkin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour
HALLUCINATIONDelirium
HEART SICKNESSCondition caused by loss of salt from body
HEAT STROKEBody temperature elevates because of surrounding environment temperature and body does not perspire to reduce temperature. Coma and death result if not reversed
HECTICAL COMPLAINTRecurrent fever
HEMATEMESISVomiting blood
HEMATURIABloody urine
HEMIPLEGYParalysis of one side of body
HIP GOUTOsteomyelitis, a staph infection
HORRORSDelirium tremens
HYDROCEPHALUSEnlarged head, water on the brain
HYDROPERICARDIUMHeart dropsy
HYDROPHOBIARabies
HYDROTHROAXDropsy in chest
HYPERTROPHICEnlargement of organ, like the heart
IMPETIGOContagious skin disease characterized by pustules
INANITIONPhysical condition resulting from lack of food
INFANTILE PARALYSISPolio
INTESTINAL COLICAbdominal pain due to improper diet
JAIL FEVERTyphus
JAUNDICECondition caused by blockage of intestines
KING'S EVILScrofula, a tubercular infection of the throat lymph glands; also sometimes syphilis
KRUCHHUSTENWhooping cough
LA GRIPPEFlu; influenza
LOCKJAWTetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw. Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days
LONG SICKNESSTuberculosis
LUES DISEASESyphilis
LUES VENERAVenereal disease; syphilis
LUMBAGOBack pain
LUNG FEVERPneumonia
LUNG SICKNESSTuberculosis
LYING INTime of delivery of infant
MALIGNANT SORE THROATDiphtheria
MANIAInsanity
MARASMUSProgressive wasting away of body, like malnutrition
MEMBRANOUS CROUPDiphtheria
MENINGITISInflations of brain or spinal cord
METRITISInflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal discharge
MIASMAPoisonous vapors thought to infect the air
MILK FEVERDisease from drinking contaminated milk, like undulant fever or brucellosis
MILK LEGPhlebitis; a painful swelling of the leg soon after childbirth, due to thrombosis of the large veins; Painful swelling of the leg beginning at the ankle and ascending or at the groin and extending down the thigh... its usual cause is infection after labor; Post partum thrombophlebitis
MILK SICKNESSDisease from milk of cattle which had eaten poisonous weeds
MORMALGangrene
MORPHEWScurvy blisters on the body
MORTIFICATIONGangrene of necrotic tissue; Infection
MYELITISInflammation of the spine
MYOCARDITISInflammation of heart muscles
NECROSISMortification of bones or tissue
NEPHROSISKidney degeneration
NEPRITISInflammation of kidneys
NERVOUS PROSTRATIONExtreme exhaustion from inability to control physical and mental activities
NEURALGIADescribed as discomfort, such as "Headache" was neuralgia in head
NOSTALGIAHomesickness
PALSYParalysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles. It was listed as "Cause of death"
PAROXYSMConvulsion
PEMPHIGUSSkin disease of watery blisters
PERICARDITISInflammation of heart
PERIPNEUMONIAInflammation of lungs
PERITONOTISInflammation of abdominal area
PETECHIAL FEVERFever characterized by skin spotting
PHLEGMASIA ALBA DOLENSMilk Leg - Painful thrombosis of the femoral vein in the leg following childbirth
PHTHIRIASISLice infestation
PHTHISISChronic wasting away or a name for tuberculosis
PLAGUEAn acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rate
PLEURISYAny pain in the chest area with each breath
PODAGRAGout
POLIOMYELITISPolioPotter's asthma Fibroid pthisis
POTT'S DISEASETuberculosis of spine
PROTEIN DISEASEGomerulonephritis; a once relatively common childhood kidney disease that causes the kidney to leak protein. This is a secondary (allergic) reaction to certain kinds of strep infections
PUERPERAL EXHAUSTIONDeath due to child birth
PUERPERAL EXHAUSTIONDeath due to childbirth
PUERPERAL FEVERElevated temperature after giving birth to an infant
PUKING FEVERMilk sickness
PUTRID FEVERDiphtheria.
QUINSYTonsillitis.
REMITTING FEVERMalaria
RHEUMATISMAny disorder associated with pain in joints
RICKETSDisease of skeletal system
ROSE COLDHay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy
ROTANNY FEVER(Child's disease) ???
RUBEOLAGerman measles
SANGUINEOUS CRUSTScab
SCARLATINAScarlet fever
SCARLET FEVERA disease characterized by red rash
SCARLET RASHRoseola
SCIATICARheumatism in the hips
SCIRRHUSCancerous tumors
SCOTOMYDizziness, nausea and dimness of sight
SCREWSRheumatism
SCREWSRheumatism
SCRIVENER'S PALSYWriter's cramp
SCROFULATuberculosis of neck lymph glands. Progresses slowly with abscesses and pistulas develop. Young person's disease
SCRUMPOXSkin disease, impetigo
SCURVYLack of vitamin C. Symptoms of weakness, spongy gums and hemorrhages under skin
SEPTICEMIABlood poisoning
SHAKESDelirium tremens
SHAKINGChills, ague
SHINGLESViral disease with skin blisters
SHIP FEVERTyphus
SIRIASISInflammation of the brain due to sun exposure
SLOESMilk sickness
SMALL POXContagious disease with fever and blisters
SOFTENING OF BRAINResult of stroke or hemorrhage in the brain, with an end result of the tissue softening in that area
SORE THROAT DISTEMPERDiphtheria or quinsy
SPANISH INFLUENZAEpidemic influenza
SPASMSSudden involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles, like a convulsion
SPINA BIFIDADeformity of spine
SPOTTED FEVEREither typhus or meningitis
SPRUETropical disease characterized by intestinal disorders and sore throat
ST. ANTHONY'S FIREAlso erysipelas, but named so because of affected skin areas are bright red in appearance
ST. VITAS DANCECeaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements performed involuntary
STOMATITISInflammation of the mouth
STRANGER'S FEVERYellow fever
STRANGERYRupture
SUDOR ANGLICUSSweating sickness
SUMMER COMPLAINTDiarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk
SUNSTROKEUncontrolled elevation of body temperature due to environment heat. Lack of sodium in the body is a predisposing cause
SWAMP SICKNESSCould be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis
SWEATING SICKNESSInfectious and fatal disease common to UK in 15th century
TEETHINGtooth infections with inflammation
TETANUSInfectious fever characterized by high fever, headache and dizziness
THROMBOSISBlood clot inside blood vessel
THRUSHChildhood disease characterized by spots on mouth, lips and throat
TICK FEVERRocky mountain spotted fever
TOXEMIA OF PREGNANCYEclampsia
TRENCH MOUTHPainful ulcers found along gum line, Caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene
TUSSIS CONVULSIVAWhooping cough
TYPHUSInfectious fever characterized high fever, headache, and dizziness
VARIOLASmallpox
VENESECTIONBleeding
VIPER'S DANCESt. Vitus Dance
WATER ON BRAINEnlarged head
WHITE SWELLINGTuberculosis of the bone
WINTER FEVERPneumonia
WOMB FEVERInfection of the uterus.
WORM FITConvulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature or diarrhea
YELLOWJACKETYellow fever.

Copyright 1999-2014 by Brianne Kelly-Bly, all rights reserved.