One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A viral disease attacking animals, especially sheep, which is transmitted by ticks and causes staggering and jumping.
- ‘This includes a blood-borne virus called louping-ill which is 80 per cent fatal to birds and found on the North York Moors.’
Late Middle English: from loup (because of the symptom of spasmodic jumping) + the noun ill.
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