One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A skin disease in which there is an eruption of vesicles or pustules which develop into ulcerated sores covered by thick, dark scabs or crusts; especially a form of secondary syphilis characterized by such lesions.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Bateman (1778–1821), physician and dermatologist. From scientific Latin rupia from ancient Greek ῥύπος dirt, filth + classical Latin -ia.
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