grippe (n.) Look up grippe at Dictionary.com
1776, probably from French grippe "influenza," originally "seizure," verbal noun from gripper "to grasp, hook," of Frankish origin, from Proto-Germanic *gripanan (see grip (v.), gripe). Supposedly in reference to constriction of the throat felt by sufferers; the word spread through European languages after the influenza epidemic during the Russian occupation of Prussia in the Seven Years' War (c.1760), and Russian chirpu, said to be imitative of the sound of the cough, is sometimes said to be the origin or inspiration for the word.