May 2, 2014

Wordology, Collywobbles

 I love words that roll off the tongue and actually sound like what they describe. Collywobble is one of them and means a pain in the abdomen and especially in the stomach; a bellyache. "I awoke this morning with collywobbles, and had to take a small dose of laudanum with the usual consequences of dry throat, intoxicated legs, partial madness and total imbecility..." Robert Louis Stevenson.

Etymologist believe that collywobbles most likely has its origin in cholera morbus, the Latin term for the disease cholera (the symptoms include severe gastrointestinal disturbance). How cholera shifted into collywobbles was probably influenced by the words colic and wobble. John Chapman is currently suffering from the collywobbles.

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