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Reference | Old Disease Names

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I know I’ve looked at old mortality schedules and had to scratch my head and go look up what certain terms were. I thought it might be useful to start compiling a list here. (Who knows, this may become a page sometime…) Not a complete list certainly – but it might be a handy reference

Abasia – inability to walk or stand
Abdominal Angina – sudden severe recurring stomach pain in the elderly. Could mean diverticulitis
Ablepsy – Blindness
Abortus Fever – Brucellosis
Affrighted – Frightened to death – likely stress induced stroke or heart attack
Ague – Intermittent fever – commonly associated with Malaria

American Plague – Yellow Fever
Anthracosis – Lung disease from inhalation of coal dust
Apoplexy – paralysis from stroke
Ataxia – inability to coordinate movement
Bad blood – syphillis
brain fever – meningitis
Camp diarrhea – Thyphoid fever
Canine Madness – rabies
Carcinoma – cancer
catalepsy – seizures/trances
dropsy – congestive heart failure (swelling from fluid buildup)
Edema – swelling of the tissues
Falling sickness – epilepsy
French pox – venereal disease
Galloping consumption – pulmonary tuberculosis
Gout – painful inflammation – brought on by buildup of uric acid in the tissue
hydrophobia – rabies
ischaema – lack of sufficient blood supply to an organ
Lung fever – pnuemonia
Malignant sore throat – diphtheria
Morbilli – measles
Mormal – gangrene
Necrosis – death of tissue
Nephrosis – Kidney degeneration
Palsy – paralysis with lack of muscle control
Pertussis – whooping cough
podagra – gout
pox – siphillis
Puerperal Exhaustion – death due to childbirth
quinsy – tonsilitis
rheumatism – pain in joints
rubeola – german measles
sciatica – rhuematism in the hips
scirrhus – cancerous tumors
scotomy – dizziness, nausea – dimness of sight


septicemia – blood poisoning

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