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Latin/English Glossary of Causes of Death and other Archaic Medical Terms

Latin Term

English Translation

   

Abortus

Childbirth

Abscessus

Abscess

Accessio

Seizure

Aeger

Sick

Agonia

Cramps

Ambustio

Burn, scald.

Aneurisma

Aneurysm

Angina Laryngea

Croup, The

Angina Membranacea

Diphtheria. [A system of practical medicine by Alexander Tweedie,1842].

Angina Tonsillaris

Quincy. [A system of practical medicine by Alexander Tweedie,1842].

Apoplexia

Apoplexy, Stroke

Example from an 1864 Church Record from Slovakia:

Apoplexia Cerebralis Apoplexy. [Dunglison 1874].

Example from an 1846 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Apoplexia Cordis Hæmocardiorrhagia. [Dunglison 1874].

Example from an 1856 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Apoplexia Nervosa Nervous apoplexy, simple apoplexy, no lesion whatever may be perceptible on dissection; although the patient may have died under all the phenomena that are characteristic of apoplexy. [Dunglison 1874].

Example from an 1845 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Apoplexia Pulmonum Hæmoptysis. [Dunglison 1874]. Congestion of the lungs.

Example from an 1850 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Asthenia

Atrophy.

Ataxia Motus

Locomotor Ataxia

Atrophia

Atrophy

Example from an 1843 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Calculus

Stones

Cancrum

Canker

Carbunculus

Carbuncle

Carcinoma

Cancer

Carcinoma Prostata

Prostrate cancer.

Example from a 1900 Church Record in Drahotuse, Czech Republic:

Carcinoma Ventriculi

Cancer of the stomach. Malignant epithelial growth within the stomach. [Diseases of the Stomach. Einhorn, 1905].

Example from an 1846 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Catarrhus

Catarrh.

Causa Mortis Incognita

Cause not specified.

Cholerica

Cholera

Chorea Sancti Viti

St. Vitus' Dance

Example from an 1869 Death Record from Michigan:

Colica

Colic

Commotio

Concussion.

Constipatio

Constipation.

Consumptio

Consumption

Contractura Ilii

Stricture of the ilium.

Contractura Urethræ

Stricture of the urethra.

Contusio

Contusion.

Convulsio

Convulsions

Convulsionis

Convulsions.

Example from an 1852 Church Record from Galacia:

Cordis Degeneratio

Fatty degeneration of the heart.

Example from a 1900 Church Record in StaraVoda, Czech Republic:

Crampus

Cramps

De Morbo Gallico Syphilis.

Debilitas

Debility, Illness, Weakness

Example from an 1864 Church Record from Slovakia:

Decessus

Died, Death

Decollatio

Beheading.

Denguis

Dengue Fever

Dentitio

Teething

Diarrhoea

Diarrhea.

Diphtheritis

Diphtheria.

Example from an 1897 Church Record in Vojnivice, Czech Republic:

Dysenteria

Dysentery

Example from an 1858 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Ecclampsia

Convulsions

Empicus

Lung disease

Epilepsia

Epilepsy

Exhaustio

Exhaustion

Explosio

Explosion.

Fatuitas

Idiocy.

Ex Visitatione Dei Visitation of God.

Febris

Fever

Example from an 1855 Death Record from Australia:

Febris Adenomeningea

Adenomeningeal Fever

Febris Africana

African Fever

Febris Angina

Angina

Febris Castrensis

Camp Fever

Febris Enterica

Enteric Fever

Febris Flava

Yellow Fever

Febris Gastrica

Bilious Fever. [Dunglison 1874].

Example from an 1886 Death Certificate from Illinois:

Febris Hectica Hectic Fever. [Dunglison 1874].

Example from an 1845 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Febris Inflammatoria

Inflammatory fever.

Febris Intermittens

Intermittent Fever, ague.

Febris Militarius

War Fever

Febris Nervosa

Nervous Fever.

Example from an 1848 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Example from an 1886 Death Certificate from Illinois:

Febris Petechialis

Spotted Fever

Febris Puerperalis

Puerperal Fever.

Example from an 1846 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Febris Putrida Typhus Gravior. [Dunglison 1874].

Example from an 1848 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Febris Putrida Nervosa Typhus Mitior. [Dunglison 1874].

Febris Quartana

Quartana

Febris Remittens

Remittent Fever

Febris Rheumatica

Rheumatic fever.

Febris Rubra

Scarlet Fever

Febris Scorbutica

Scorbutic Fever

Febris Verminosa

Verminous Fever

Felo De Se

In medical jurisprudence, one who commits felony by attempting suicide. [Appleton1904]

One who deliberately puts an end to his own existence, or loses his life while engaged in the commission of an unlawful or malicious act; a suicide. --Burrill. [Webster1913]

Latin for "felon of himself," is an archaic legal term meaning suicide. In early English common law, an adult who committed suicide was literally a felon, and the crime was punishable by forfeiture of property to the king and what was considered a shameful burial (typically with a stake through his heart and with a burial at a crossroad). A child or mentally incompetent person, however, who killed him- or herself was not considered a felo de se and was not punished post-mortem for his or her actions. The term is not commonly used in modern legal practice. [Wikipedia]

Fluxus

Dysentery

Fractura

Fracture.

Fulmen

Lightning.

Galbanus

Jaundice

Gangræna

Gangrene, mortification.

Example from an 1864 Church Record from Slovakia:

Gangræna Oris

Cancrum oris, water canker. [A system of practical medicine by Alexander Tweedie,1842].

Gangræna Senilis

Dry gangrene.

Gelatio

Frost.

Glarea

Gravel

Hæmorrhagia

Hemorrhage

Hæmorrhois

Hemorrhoids

Hydrocephalus Connatus

Congenital hydrocephalus.

Example from an 1896 Church Record in Drahotuse, Czech Republic:

Hydropisis

Dropsy

Hydrops Abdominis Ascites. [Dunglison 1874].

Example from an 1848 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Hydrops Ovarii

Ovarian dropsy.

Hydrops Universalis

Anasarca, leucophlegmasia.

Example from an 1847 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Hypertrophia Cordis

Heart hypertrophy.

Example from an 1853 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Icterus

Jaundice

Ictus

A blow.

Ignis Sacer

Erysipelas. [Erysipelas and Child-Bed Fever, Minor, 1874].

Ileus Ventriculi

Enteralgia.

Example from an 1897 Church Record in StaraVoda, Czech Republic:

In Vivo (In Vivus) Within a living organism. [Stedman]

In vivo means "within a living organism". In vivo is used to describe experimental techniques that focus on biological processes as they occur within a living organism, such as embryonic studies of the Drosophila (fruit fly.) The Latin vivo is derived from vivus, meaning living. [ISCID]

Infectio

Infection

Infirmus

Weak

Inflammatio

Inflammation

Insolatio

Insolatio

Intussusceptio

Intussusception

Lepra

Leprosy.

Marasmus

Weakness

Marasmus Senilis

Progressive atrophy of the aged. [Dunglison1868].

The atrophy of all the tissues which occurs normally and slowly in old people. [Appleton1904].

Example from an 1898 Church Record in Drahotuse, Czech Republic:

Marasmus Universalis

A wasting away of flesh, without fever or apparent disease. [Hooper1829].

Example from a 1908 Church Certificate from New York:

Meningitis Cerebralis

Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis.

Example from an 1896 Church Record in Vojnivice, Czech Republic:

Mollities Cerebri

Cerebral Softening.

Morbilli

Measles.

Example from an 1892 Church Record in StaraVoda, Czech Republic:

Morbus

Latin word for disease. In the last century, when applied to a particular disease, morbus was associated with some qualifying adjective or noun, indicating the nature or seat of such disease. Examples: morbus cordis, heart disease; morbus caducus, epilepsy or falling sickness. [NGSQ1988]

Morbus Addisonii

Addison's Disease

Morbus Aphrodisius

Lues Venerea, or syphilis. It has also been called morbus Gallicus, morbus Indicus, &c. [Hoblyn1900].

Morbus Arquatus

Jaundice; the disease in which the skin becomes of the yellow colour of the rainbow. [Hoblyn1900].

Morbus Articulorum

Disease of the joints.

Morbus Brightii

Bright's disease of the kidney. [Dunglison1968].

Nephritis.

Example from an 1849 Death Certificate from  England:

Morbus Bullosus Neonatorum

An epidemic which occurred in Leipsic in 1872, characterized by bullæ, but distinct from pemphigus. [Hoblyn1900].

Morbus Caducus

Epilepsy, or the falling sickness. This has been also termed morbus attonitus; morbus comitialis, the fact that its occurrence during comitia, or popular asssemblies at Rome, was or sufficient to cause their adjournment. [Hoblyn1900].

Morbus Cerebri Disease of the brain.

Example from an 1873 Death Certificate from Wales, England:

 

Morbus Cœruleus Cyanosis. [Thomas1875].

Blue disease; discoloration of the skin in malformations of the heart. [Cleaveland1886].

Morbus Cordis

Cardionosus. Disease of the heart. Heart disease. [Dunglison1868]

Example from a 1905 Death Certificate from England:

Morbus Coxæ

Tubercular disease of the hip joint. [Appleton1904].

Example from an 1877 Death Certificate from England:

Morbus Cutis

Disease of the skin.

Morbus Gallicus

An old term for syphilis. [Appleton1904]

Morbus Heraculeus A designation of elephantiasis, derived from its vastness and terrible nature. [Hoblyn1900].

Morbus Hungaricus

Epidemic Typhus

Morbus Incurvus Another name for cyrtosis, incurvation of the spine, or posterior crookedness. [Hoblyn1900].
Morbus Indicus Syphilis. [Thomas1875]
Morbus Infantilis ("Infantile Disease"), a name for epilepsy. [Thomas1875]
Morbus Jecoris Disease of the liver.
Morbus Magnus ("Mighty Disease"), a name for epilepsy. [Thomas1875]
Morbus Niger ("Black Disease"), Melaena. [Thomas1875]
Morbus Pancreatis Disease of the pancreas.
Morbus Pedicularis ("Lousy Disease"), Phthiriasis. [Thomas1875]
Morbus Pulmonum Disease of the lungs.

Example from an 1898 Church Record in Vojnivice, Czech Republic:

Morbus Regius

Jaundice. In German (königskrankheit). Literally the royal disease; so called because it was said to be cured by delicate remedies, by exciting to cheerfulness, etc. [Appleton1904]

Morbus Sacer ("Sacred Disease"), A name given to epilepsy, because epileptics were sometimes supposed to be divinely inspired. [Thomas1875]

Morbus Splenis

Disease of the spleen.

Morbus Strangulatorius A putrid sore throat. A characteristic name of a species of angina maligna, which raged in Cornwall in the year 1748. [Hoblyn1900].

The croup, diphtheria.

Morbus Uteri

Disease of the uterus.

Morbus Ventriculi

Disease of the stomach.

Mors

Death

Mors Repentina

Sudden death.

Myelitis Lumbalis

Paraplegia of both legs, but the upper extremities are unaffected. The bladder and the rectum are inclolved; the skin and tendon reflexes are diminished or entirely absent. [The Elements of Clinical Diagnosis By Georg Klemperer, 2009].

Example from an 1896 Church Record in StaraVoda, Czech Republic:

Natus Immaturus

Premature birth.

Natus Mortuus

Stillborn

Neoplasma

Neoplasm

Noma

Canker.

Non Compos Mentis The term non compos mentis comes from Latin, non meaning "not," compos meaning "in control," and mentis, genitive singular of mens, mind, and means not having a sound mind; not sane. [Wikipedia]

Not of sound mind and hence not legally responsible; mentally incompetent. [Stedman]

Obitus

Death, Died

Obstipatio Alvi

Constipation. [Diseases of the stomach, intestines, and pancreas By Robert Coleman Kemp, 1917].

Obstructiones

Obstruction of the bowels.

Otitis Media

(Latin for "Middle otitis") is inflammation of the middle ear, or middle ear infection. [Wikipedia].

Example from an 1897 Death Record from Michigan:

Partus

Childbirth

Per Infortuna by misfortune or accident.

Peritus

Deceased, Dead

Perniciose Anæmia

Pernicious Anemia.

Example from an 1892 Church Record in Drahotuse, Czech Republic:

Pestis

Plague

Phthisis

Consumption, Tuberculosis

Phthisis Abdominalis

Tuberculosis affecting the mesenteric glands or the intestines. [Appleton1904].

Phthisis Acuta

Galloping Consumption

Phthisis Brochialis

Bronchial Phthisis, Bronchial Consumption. Phthisis occasioned by the pressure of enlarged tuberculous bronchial glands, which, not infrequently, communicate with caverns in the lungs, or with the bronchia. [Dunglison 1874].

Example from an 1846 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Phthisis Exulcerata

Phthisis Pulmonalis. [Dunglison 1874].

Example from an 1846 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Phthisis Meseraica

Tabes Meseraica, Phthisis Mesenteric. [Dunglison 1874].

Phthisis Pituitosa

Bronchorrhea. [Dunglison 1868].

Example from an 1843 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Phthisis Pulmonalis

Consumption of the lungs; strictly applied to the tuberculous variety. [Cleaveland1886].

Pulmonary consumption. Pulmonary tuberculosis. [Dorland].

Example from an 1825 Death Certificate from Pennsylvania:

Placenta Previa

Placenta previa is a condition that occurs during pregnancy when the placenta is abnormally placed, and partially or totally covers the cervix. [TheFreeDictionary.com].

Example from a 1920 Death Certificate from Ohio:

Plaga

Plague

Pleuritis Dextra

Right side pleuritis.

Pleuritis Sinistra

Left side pleuritis.

Example from an 1892 Church Record in StaraVoda, Czech Republic:

Privatio

Privation.

Puerperium

Childbirth

Rheumatismus

Rheumatism

Scarlatina

Scarlet fever

Scophulosis

Scrofula.

Example from an 1893 Church Record in Drahotuse, Czech Republic:

Scorbutus

Scurvy

Senectus

Old age.

Senilis

Weak with age

Spasmus

Cramps

Spasmus Epiglottidis

Spasm of the epiglottis. [Dunglison 1874].

Example from an 1847 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Spasmus Glottidis

Laryngismus Stridulus; Spasm of the Glottis; False Croup; Spasmodic Croup; Child Crowing. [American Laryngological Association 1909].

Example from an 1866 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Submersio

Drowning.

Suffacatio

Suffocation.

Suspendium

Hanging.

Tussis

Cough

Example 1 from an 1864 Church Record from Slovakia:

Example 2 from an 1852 Church Record from Galacia:

Tussis Convulsiva

Pertussis

Tussis Epidemicus

Influenza or Catarrh

Typhus

Typhoid fever, Typhus

Typhus Abdominalis

Typhoid Fever. [Dunglison 1874].

Example from a 1905 Death Certificate from Illinois:

Ulcus

Ulcer

Ulcus Ilii

Ulceration of the ilium.

Variola

Smallpox

Example from an 1864 Church Record from Slovakia:

Venenatio

Poisoning.

Vermis

Worms

Vertigo Nervosa

Nervous, hysterical, epileptical, or hypochondriacal vertigo. [A dictionary of practical medicine by James Copeland, 1859].

Vita Minima

Apparent death.

Example from an 1873 Church Record in Münster, Switzerland:

Vitia Conformationis

Malformation.

Vitium Cordis

Heart disease.

Vitium: Disease. [Dunglison1868]

Vitium: A fault, a defect; an abnormality. [Appleton1904]

Example from an 1881 German Death Certificate:

Vulnus

To wound

Vulnus Cultro

Stabbed or cut.

Vulnus Gladio

Stabbed or cut in battle.

Vulnus Pugione

Stabbed or cut in battle.

Vulnus Incisum

Latin for a wound caused by a cut.

Vulnus Laceratum

Latin for lacerated wound [Dunglison1855]

Vulnus Punctum

Latin for stab wound.

Vulnus Scaplet

Latin for knife wound.

Vulnus Sclopeticum

Latin for gunshot wound [CivilWarMed]

Example from a Civil War Hospital Record:

Example from a Funeral Home Record in California:

Vulnus a Tormento

Gunshot wound.