Civil War Medical Terminology

(Civil War) 19th Century Medical Terminology

Page Compiled by Alma E Dailey-Harings

Phrase Meaning
Abcpsia (ABLEPSIA) blindness
A swollen, inflamed area of the body where pus gathers
Aegrotantem illness, sickness
inability to swallow, frequently found on death certificates
recurring fever and chills of malaria
a hard tumor or swelling on the left side of the abdomen, lower than the false rib, resulting from enlargement of the spleen or liver, and supposed to be the effect of intermitting fevers
an ulcerous swelling, a boil
Ambustio A burn or scald
Anasaica ( ANASCARCA) Generalized edema or generalized dropsy
A stiffening of the joints
A lost of voice due to organic or psychological causes. Also known as Laryngitis
The infant disease known as thrush
Accumulation of serious fluid in the abdominal cavity
Cyanotic and lack of oxygen
Wasting away or diminishing in size.
Bad Blood
sickness produced by immoderate drinking
Bilious fever
fever caused by liver disorder
Black Death
Bubonic plague
Black Fever
Acute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions and high mortality rate
Black Lung
disease from breathing coal dust
Black Pox
Black Small pox
Black water Fever
Dark urine associated with high temperature
Bladder in Throat
Diphtheria (Seen on Death Certificates)
Blood Poisoning
Bacterial infection; septicemia
Bloody Flux
Bloody Sweat
a sweat accompanied by a discharge of blood
Bone Shave
Brain Fever
Dengue Fever
Bright's Disease
inflammation of the kidneys-in it's acute form, it is called "nephritis".
Catarrh Inflammation of mucous membrane most commonly in the throat and nose, accompanied by an increased secretion mucous, sometimes accompanied by fever, or, rarely cerebral hemorrhage
irregular pulse
Upset Stomach
Ulceration of mouth or lips aka herpes simplex 2
Inflammation of the cerebrum or lead poisoning
Cephalalgia Headache
Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy
Camp Fever
Canine Madness
Rabies, hydrophobia
Chilblain swelling of the extremities caused by exposure to cold
Child Bed Fever
Infection following childbirth
Chin Cough/Whooping Cough Characterized by breathing difficulties and in its worst stage, convulsions
Chorea disease characterized by convulsions and contortions
Acute severe contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing
Cholera Morbus
Characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated temp., etc.
Inflammation of the gall bladder
Gall Stones
A cold
Iron Deficiency anemia
Chronic Continuing for a long period of time
Colic (Colic) Acute abdominal pains, caused by abnormal condition of the bowel
Communis ??
Congestiva Excessive accumulation of blood in parts of the body
Congestive Fever (Chills) Malaria
Conjunctivitis Inflammation of the eye or eyelid
Consecutiva Unrelated illness following another
Constiveness Constipation
Consumption Tuberculosis
Continua Without interruption
Contusion A bruise or injury where the skin is not broken
Cramp Colic appendicitis
Cretinism congenital hypothyroidism
Crop Sickness overextended stomach
Croup laryngitis, diphtheria, or strep throat
Day Fever
a fever of a day's duration or coming on in the daytime;
Weakness or feebleness
Debility Weakness or feebleness
Feebleness due to old age
Delirium Tremens hallucinations & seizures due to alcohol withdrawal
Infectious fever endemic to East Africa
Cutting of teeth
Tumor of the eyelids which causes hairloss
Diary Fever
A fever that lasts only one day
Diphtheria contagious disease of the throat
Dock Fever
yellow fever
Dresser surgeon's assistant in a hospital
Dropsy of the Brain encephalitis
Dropsy edema (or collection of fluid) in the tissues and cavities of the body.
i.e.: congestive heart failure
Dropsy of the Brain
Dry Belly Ache
Lead Poisoning
Dysentery Inflammation of intestinal membrane
Dyspepsia bad acid indigestion
Encephalitis swelling of the brain, aka sleeping sickness
Enteritis inflammation of the bowels
Erysipelas (Erysipelas) aka Saint Anthony's Fire A skin disease caused by strep infection which devastates the blood
Febris fever
Falling Sickness
Sudden attack or seizure
Flux discharge of fluid from the body ( i.e.: hemorrhage or diarrhea)
French Pox
Flux of Humor
Galloping Consumption Pulmonary Tuberculosis
a collection of pus
Glandular Fever mononucleosis
a non cancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland, visible as a swelling at the front of the neck, that is often associated with an iodine deficiency
a disturbance of uric acid metabolism occurring predominantly in males, characterized by painful inflammation of the joints, especially of the feet and hands
Green Sickness Anemia
Graves Disease
disorder of the thyroid gland
Grocer's Itch
a cotaneous disease caused by mites in sugar and flour
Gripe/La Grippe Influenza
Heat Sickness
a condition marked especially by cessation of sweating and extremely high body temperature, caused by a loss of salt from the 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

Hemophthis Spitting of blood
Hemorrhia Heavy Bleeding
Herpes An inflammatory virus disease of the skin or mucous membranes
Incipt Hydrothorax An abnormal amount of watery fluid in the pleural cavity
Infantile Paralysis polio
Intermittent (intermittent) Stopping and Starting
Contagious skin disease characterized by pustules
Physical condition resulting from a lack of food
Intestinal colic
abdominal pain due to improper diet
Jail Fever typhus
Jaundice yellowing of the skin due to liver dysfunction (hyperbilirubinemia)
King's Evil
Tuberculosis of neck and lymph glands
whooping cough
Lock Jaw tetanus
Lumbago Back pain
Lying In
time of delivery of infant
Lues disease (venera)
venereal disease syphilis
Lung Fever pneumonia
Lung Sickness tuberculosis
Mania insanity
Miasma poisonous vapors thought to infect the air
Progressive wasting away of a body like malnutrition
Inflammation of the brain and/or spinal cord

Milk Leg
Post Partum thrombophlebitis (occurred most often in Native American women) Swelling of the legs after birth
Milk Sickness (Fever) disease from the milk from cattle which had eaten poisonous weeds
Morbi Cutis A skin disease
Morsal (Mormal) Gangrene
Mortis death
Scurvy blisters of the body
Myelitis inflammation of the spine
Myocarditits inflammation of the heart muscles
Necrosis mortification of bones or tissue, usually skin
Nephritis inflammation of the kidneys
Nervous Prostration
Extreme exhaustion from inability to control physical and mental activities
neurotic condition characterized by worry, disturbances of digestion and circulation and attributed to emotional conflict and feelings of inferiority
Obit died
Relating to the Eye(s)
Otalgia Earache
Palsy paralysis or loss of muscle control
Paronychia A painful, pus producing inflammation at the end of a toe or finger
Parotitis Mumps
Paroxysm convulsion
Phlegmon Inflammation, especially of the connective tissues, leading to ulceration or abscess
Phthisis Pulmonalis A wasting away of the body or any part as in tuberculosis
Pleurisy Inflammation of the lung
Pleuritis Pleurisy
Podagra gout
Pott's Disease tuberculosis of the spinal vertebrae
Pox Syphilis
Pulmonalis Relating to the heart
Putrid Fever diphtheria or typhus
Qyotidiana A fever occurring or returning daily
Remittent (Remittent) A fever that drops, but does not altogether disappear
Rickets disease of the skeletal system
Scarlet Fever disease characterized by a red rash and sore
Screws Rheumatism
Scrofula tuberculosis of the neck lymph nodes or lymphatic glands
Ship's Fever Typhus
Softening of the Brain apoplexy
Spotted Fever typhus, cerebrospinal meningitis fever
St. Vitas Dance Nervous twitches, chorea
Sub-Laxatio An incomplete dislocation
Tick Fever
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Toxaemia of Pregnancy
Trench Mouth
Painful ulcers found along the gum line caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene
Infectious fever characterized by high fever, headache and dizziness
Variola Smallpox
Varix Varicose veins
Venesection Bleeding
Viper's Dance St. Vitus' Dance, chorea
Vulnus Incisum Relating to a wound caused by a cut
Vulnus Punctum Relating to a wound caused by a puncture
Vulnus Sclopeticum Relating to a wound caused by a gunshot wound
Vulnus Relating to a wound
Whitlow See Paronychia
Worm Fit
Convulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temp or diarrhoea
Winter Fever pneumonia
Yellow Jacket (Yellow Jack and General Yellow Jack) Yellow Fever

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Document created September 28, 2006

Page Compiled by Alma E Dailey-Harings