Wild Word Friday!
When I was almost eight years old, my family and I were visiting my maternal grandfather. My brother Bob and I called him Granddaddy. He was a wonderful grandfather, a widower, who doted on us grandchildren. While we were at his house, I started feeling rotten, really, really rotten. By the next morning, I was plastered with spots. I had what we called in those days the hard MEASLES – a two week siege. I remember lying on my grandfather’s sofa, itchy, hot and miserable and feeling very sad that all the fun plans we had were going by the wayside, because I came down with the MEASLES. How sad for my brother. How horrible for ME!
When I had my own children, I was delighted that they could be protected with a vaccination. The disease is bad, and the side affects can be horrendous.
So where did the name for this vicious disease originate? The word MEASLES is related to the Latin word misellus, which means miserable wretch. The Old French word for leper – mesel – springs from misellus as well. MEASLES, the English word, is a combination of mesel, and also masel, which means spot, and all of those spring from the Latin word for miserable wretch. If you’ve ever had the hard MEASLES, you understand how apt that ancestry is!
By the way, in case you are wondering about the photo on this blog post, I figured you’d prefer to see the happy spots on a dalmatian rather than the sad spots on a child with MEASLES.
Did you ever have the MEASLES or were you spared that malady?
Blessings (And good health!),
(Information from Webster’s New World Dictionary. Photo from Wikipedia.)