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epizudics

noun; folk etymology
acute disease of unknown origin In other words, you get really, really sick, but you don’t know what you have. There is a slightly humorous connotation to the word. However, this was not just a word the person made up to be funny, but was actually used in context to describe his being sick the previous weekend. EPIZUDICS is most likely a misusage of an actual word, EPIZOOTIC ‘a disease that affects many animals’. This etymology makes sense because there is a veterinarian in this friend’s family, so there would be some familiarity with animal disease terminology. However, the word has gained a new meaning. It is now singular in the plural form. Rather than describing a widespread outbreak among animals, the word is being applied to a human disease which affects only one patient. The change in spelling reflects this change, and also demonstrates how the new term has taken a life of its own, to the point where the common user may not know its origins. This is a form of slang, likely with origins in the South. (This speaker was a Mississippi native.) It was clear that the word was not coined on the spot, but was part of the vocabulary that the speaker inherited from his parents. He specifically mentioned that his whole family commonly uses this word.
 
I got sick…What did you have?...I had the epizudics.
Etymology :
Source : conversation with a friend
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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