Lost Word Of The Day (19)

As medical techniques improve, historic drastic and, probably, ineffective treatments have fallen into disuse, as well as the nouns describing them. Amongst the now lost medical terms from the 17th century are mochlic used to describe a drastic purgative medicine and panchymamogue, medicine which purged all the humours from the body.

From the same era was a rare, archaic and alternative adjective for hepatic, jecorary. Meaning “of the liver” it was derived from Latin jecur (liver) and the French adjective jécoraire. However, I always prefer a Greek root, given the choice.

One of my pet fears is to lose my sight. An archaic term for being blinded that was extant in the 17th century was occaecation, from the Latin noun caecus meaning blind. Let’s hope I do not have to use it.


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