Etymology
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syphilis (n.)
infectious venereal disease, 1718, Modern Latin, originally from the title of a poem, "Syphilis, sive Morbus Gallicus" "Syphilis, or the French Disease," published 1530, by Veronese doctor Girolamo Fracastoro (1483-1553), which tells the tale of the shepherd Syphilus, supposed to be the first sufferer from the disease. Fracastoro first used the word as a generic term for the disease in his 1546 treatise "De Contagione." Why he chose the name is unknown; it may be intended as Latinized Greek for "Pig-lover," though there was also a Sipylus, a son of Niobe, in Ovid.
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syphilitic (adj.)
1786, from Modern Latin syphiliticus, from syphilis (see syphilis). As a noun from 1881.
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Wassermann (n.)
test for syphilis, 1909, from German bacteriologist August Paul Wassermann (1866-1925), who devised it in 1906.
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pox (n.)

"disease characterized by eruptive sores," late 15c., spelling alteration of pockes (late 13c. in this sense), plural of pocke "pustule" (see pock (n.)). Especially (after c. 1500) of syphilis.

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smallpox (n.)
acute, highly contagious disease, 1510s, small pokkes, as distinguished from great pox "syphilis;" from small-pock "pustule caused by smallpox" (mid-15c.); see small (adj.) + pox. Compare French petite vérole. Fatal in a quarter to a third of unvaccinated cases.
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sarsaparilla (n.)
tropical American plant, 1570s, from Spanish zarzaparrilla, from zarza "bramble" (from Arabic sharas "thorny plant" or Basque sartzia "bramble") + parrilla, diminutive of parra "vine," which is of unknown origin. Hence, also, "a medicinal preparation of sarsaparilla" (1570s). In 16c.-17c. the dried roots were held to be efficient in treatment of syphilis.
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Neapolitan (n.)
early 15c., "native or resident of Naples," literally "of Naples," from Latin Neapolitanus, from Neapolis (see Naples); it preserves in English the Greek name of the city. As an adjective from 1590s. As a type of ice cream, from 1871; originally meaning both "ice cream of three layers and flavors" and "ice cream made with eggs added to the cream before freezing." In early 18c., Neapolitan consolation meant "syphilis."
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