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influenzed

verb blending
to have been affected by the flu or a flu-like illness: specifically, to have been rendered lethargic, sickly, or unresponsive by the flu.
 
: Influenzed was coined as a nonce word by a friend of mine over text message to describe my incapacitated state due to food poisoning that was misdiagnosed as influenza. Thus, influenzed does not necessarily refer to being under the effects of flu symptoms, but those of any flu-like illness. Its origin is slightly unclear; it could be a zero derivation of influenza, converting it into a verb by analogy with the word influence, or it could be a blend of influenza and influence. The latter could imply an interesting metaphor between the symptoms of the flu and the effects of alcohol or drugs, since my friend coined it to refer to my unresponsiveness & lethargy – the word influence is often used in the context of intoxicants, as in the phrase “driving under influence.”
Etymology : Possibly formed by the conversion of influenza into a verb (zero derivation). Possibly from a blend of influenza & influence – influenza from Italian meaning influence, from Latin influentia meaning influence, from the antiquated belief that the influence of the stars caused the illness. Influence from Latin present participle influens, from in- into + fluere to flow.
Source : “Sorry I haven’t texted – I’ve been so, so sick.” “No problem! I could have texted too. Are you still influenzed?” (from a text message from a friend, 10/9/19)
Last modified: 11 December 2019


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