Definition of hatters' shakes in English:

hatters' shakes

(also hatter's shakes, hatters shakes)

noun

historical
  • A form of chronic mercury poisoning occurring in workers exposed to mercury, especially during the manufacture of hats, characterized by muscle tremors, mental and behavioural changes, and stomatitis.

Origin

Late 19th century; earliest use found in Sixth Annual Reports Bureau Statistics of Labor & Industries New Jersey.