Etymology
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rabies (n.)

"extremely fatal infectious disease of dogs, humans, and many other mammals," 1590s, from Latin rabies "madness, rage, fury," related to rabere "be mad, rave" (see rage (v.)). The mad-dog disease sense was a secondary meaning of the Latin noun. Known as hydrophobia (q.v.) in humans. Related: Rabietic.

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rage (n.)

c. 1300, "madness, insanity; fit of frenzy; rashness, foolhardiness, intense or violent emotion, anger, wrath; fierceness in battle; violence" (of storms, fire, etc.), from Old French rage, raige "spirit, passion, rage, fury, madness" (11c.), from Medieval Latin rabia, from Latin rabies "madness, rage, fury," related to rabere "be mad, rave" (compare rabies, which originally had this sense). This is said by some sources to be from PIE *rebh- "violent, impetuous" (source also of Old English rabbian "to rage"), but de Vaan finds this uncertain and sees no convincing etymology.

Similarly, Welsh (cynddaredd) and Breton (kounnar) words for "rage, fury" originally meant "hydrophobia" and are compounds based on the word for "dog" (Welsh ci, plural cwn; Breton ki).

It is attested from late 14c. in the sense of "fit of carnal lust or sexual desire." In 15c.-16c. it also could mean "rabies." Other Middle English senses, now obsolete, include "come to a boil; grieve, mourn, lament; flirt, make love." The rage "fashion, vogue" dates from 1785.

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lyssophobia (n.)

"morbid dread of having caught rabies," a psychological condition which sometimes mimicked the actual disease, 1874, Modern Latin, from -phobia + Greek lyssa (Attic lytta) "rabies, canine madness," also the name given to the "worm" of cartilage under a dog's tongue," an abstract word probably literally "wolf-ness" and related to lykos "wolf" (see wolf (n.)); but some see a connection with "light" words, in reference to the glittering eyes of the mad.

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rabidity (n.)

1822, "state of being infected with rabies;" 1825, "state of being furious or violently raving;" see rabid + -ity.

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rabid (adj.)

1610s, "furious, raving, behaving violently," from Latin rabidus "raging, furious, enraged; inspired; ungoverned; rabid," from rabere "be mad, rave" (see rage (v.)). The specific meaning "made mad by rabies" in English is recorded by 1804. Related: Rabidly; rabidness.

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enrage (v.)

late 14c., "make furious or mad" (implied in enraged), from Old French enragier "go wild, go mad, lose one's senses," from en- "make, put in" (see en- (1)) + rage "rabies, rage" (see rage (n.)). Related: Enraging. Intransitive only in Old French; but the transitive sense is oldest and predominant in English.

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pantophobia (n.)

"morbid fear of everything," attested by 1848 in medical journals for a psychological condition described as "monomania, with fear and terror," from Greek pantos, neuter genitive of pas "all" (see pan-) + -phobia. Earlier (by 1819) it was noted as an old word for "hydrophobia, rabies." Related: Pantophobe; pantophobic.

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arse-smart 

also ars-smart, the herb Persicaria hydropiper (formerly Polygonum hydropiper), early 14c., from arse + smart (n.) in the "pain" sense. The herb also formerly was called culrage (early 14c.) and now is often smartweed (1786).

The arse smart name is a direct translation of the Old French cul rage, from Old French cul (see tutu) + rage (see rage), which is said to be from Latin culli rabies, but this term is apparently unattested. The French word might be a folk etymology.

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hydrophobia (n.)

late 14c., idroforbia, "dread of water, aversion to swallowing water," a symptom of rabies in man (sometimes used for the disease itself), from Late Latin hydrophobia, from Greek hydrophobos "dreading water," from hydr-, stem of hydor "water" (from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet") + phobos "dread, fear" (see phobia). So called because human sufferers show aversion to water and have difficulty swallowing it. In Old English as wæterfyrhtness. Related: Hydrophobe.

The term hydrophobia, which has been so generally applied to the Lyssa canina, has been deservedly reprobated, because the "dread of water," the literal meaning of the word, is not a pathognomonic mark of the disease. The older writers used the terms aerophobia, or a "dread of air," and pantophobia, or a "fear of all things," as appropriate names for the disease, because the impression cold air sometimes excites terror, and the disorder is marked, by a singular degree of general timidity and distrust. ["Encyclopaedia Londinensis," 1823]
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mad (adj.)

late 13c., "disordered in intellect, demented, crazy, insane," from Old English gemædde "out of one's mind" (usually implying also violent excitement), also "foolish, extremely stupid," earlier gemæded "rendered insane," past participle of a lost verb *gemædan "to make insane or foolish," from Proto-Germanic *gamaidjan, demonstrative form of *gamaidaz "changed (for the worse), abnormal" (source also of Old Saxon gimed "foolish," Old High German gimeit "foolish, vain, boastful," Gothic gamaiþs "crippled, wounded," Old Norse meiða "to hurt, maim").

This apparently is from the Germanic intensive prefix *ga- + PIE *moito-, past participle of root *mei- (1) "to change, go, move" (source also of Latin mutare "to change," migrare "to change one's place of residence"). In Middle English usurped the place of the more usual Old English word, wod (see wood (adj.)).

The meanings "beside oneself with excitement or enthusiasm, under the influence of uncontrollable emotion" and "enraged, furious, beside oneself with anger" are attested from early 14c., but the latter was deplored by Rev. John Witherspoon (1781) as an Americanism. It now competes in American English with angry for this sense. Of animals, "affected with rabies, furious from disease" from late 13c.

To do something like mad "recklessly, as if mad or crazy" is by 1650s. Phrase mad as a March hare is attested from 1520s, via notion of breeding season; mad as a hatter is from 1829 as "demented," 1837 as "enraged," according to a modern theory supposedly from erratic behavior caused by prolonged exposure to poison mercuric nitrate, used in making felt hats. For mad as a wet hen see hen.

Mad money, which a young woman carries for use in getting home when she and her date have a falling out, is attested by 1922; mad scientist, one so eccentric as to be dangerous or evil, is by 1891. Mad Libs, the word game (based on the idea in consequences, etc.), was first published in 1958

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