Sunday, January 02, 2011

Archaic Terms


One of the more charming aspects of the works of James Herriot is the language and terms. Being fresh out of veterinary collage with a mind full of the new scientific terms it took him a while to cone to terms with the the archaic local jargon that described the ailments of the animals he worked on. Terms such as Stagnation O'T' Lung, Husk, and Runnin on Three Cylinders.

Even in the present day I find that there are many maladies of the horse that linger with their old common names. There are Scratches, Mud Fever AKA Greasy Heel, String Hault, Joint Ill, Aural Plaque, Grass Sickness, Heaves, Moon Blindness,Proud Flesh, Rain Rot, Wobbler, Tying-Up,Ring Bone and Side Bone, Rug Sores, Scours, Navel Ill, Strangles, Founder and my personal favorite, Got A Rib Out.

Many of the common names easily describe the conditions they represent and they still work quite well today. They are much easier to say than their Latin medical terms. It's what keeps modern animal husbandry linked to its colorful past.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recognize almost all of them except"Got a rib out" What does that mean?

My horse was really prone to rain rot. He had to have a good blanket with a full neck and head cover. Someone gave us a nearly white one once and he looked like he was ready for a clan rally until he rolled a few times.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous auntie said...

you forgot a beast having their 'calf bed out'. LOL

8:31 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

I'm always flummoxing my doctor when I go see him. I've had the Wobbles, the Heebie-Jeebies, the Gawd Awfuls, been all ate up with the Flibbertijibbets and I wake up with the Screaming Meemies. Those always make for an interesting visit. I always wonder if one day he'll come in the room with a butterfly net.

Oh, and I've had a rib out. That hurts like Johnny Come Blazes.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous auntie said...

Oooh, and you forgot malendars and salendars!

9:18 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Anon, when a horse doesn't like being cinched up many people will say E's got a rim owt. Oddly Equine Chiropractors use the term all the time. They must mean the spine is out of alignment, but who knows.

Auntie, are these related to horses?

Darev, you're a mess, aren't you.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

I used to work at a large animal/mixed vet practice and love all the names of medicaments, too.

6:29 PM  

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