Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Archaic Medical Terms Website

St. Johns Herald Newspaper
16 March 1901
While recently researching my ancestors in Historical Apache County Arizona newspapers - I came across this snippet on the death of my Great-grandmother's brother.

We often come across unfamiliar medical terminology that is no longer used when reading newspaper articles, death certificates, and even journal entries or letters. 

Here was one of those terms "Dropsy".  What in the heck is/was Dropsy?!  So I did an Internet search, and came across a wonderful online resource that I just have to share!   A great big THANK YOU to Rudy Smith of Georgia for all of his hard work & for sharing it with the rest of us!

Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms

Oh, and "Dropsy" could have meant MANY different things!  I counted around 28 different variations of Dropsy on this website!!   But just basic Dropsy is:

The dropsy is a preternatural swelling of the whole body, or some part of it, occasioned by a collection of watery humour. It is distinguished by different names, according to the part affected, as the anasarca, or a collection of water under the skin; the ascites, or a collection of water in the belly; the hydrops pectoris, or dropsy of the breast; the hydrocephalus, or dropsy of the brain, &c. [Buchan1785].
A collection of a serous fluid in the cellular membrane; in the viscera and the circumscribed cavities of the body. [Hooper1829].
Hydrops. [Dunglison1868]
Morbid serous effusion into any of the cavities; a sequel of many chronic diseases, particularly those of the kidneys. [Cleaveland1871]
Hydropsy. [Hoblyn1900]
Archaic word for Edema. 


  1. I didn't know about this blog. How do I follow it?

  2. Hi Grant! I hadn't even noticed I didn't have the "follow" gadget on here - you should be able to now. :) THANKS!!!