One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fatal bacterial infection of young sheep, occurring chiefly in upland areas in winter.
The bacterium is Clostridium septicum
- ‘Some were injected with streptococci, some with staphylococci, and some with Clostridium septique (the cause of braxy, a deadly sheep disease).’
- ‘The virtual elimination of diseases such as pulpy kidney, blackleg, braxy and lamb dysentery back in the 1940's is a prime example of the pioneering work that was carried out at our research institute.’
- ‘Such other clostridials include black disease, blackleg, braxy, bacterial redwater and tetanus.’
- ‘Games like yesterday will provide the basis for braxy season.’
- ‘C septicum also causes braxy in sheep, a highly fatal infection characterized by toxemia and inflammation of the abomasal wall.’
Late 18th century: perhaps from obsolete brack ‘break, flaw’, from Germanic base of break.
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