One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of various fevers with intense sweating, epidemic in England in the 15th–16th centuries.
- ‘I am writing to tell you that your father, the Viscount, has died of the sweating sickness these three days past.’
- ‘We have had a bad bout of the sweating sickness in the western wards.’
- ‘They lived at Ludlow Castle, but had little time together, for poor Arthur died only a few months later, perhaps of tuberculosis or the fever called the sweating sickness.’
- ‘His two sons died of the sweating sickness in 1551, when the dukedom became extinct.’
- ‘Linking contagion with the poor has been common since at least the early modern period, when they were blamed for plague, typhus, sweating sickness, and syphilis.’
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