Advertisement

dengue (n.)

"febrile epidemic disease of the tropics," 1828, from West Indian Spanish dengue, from an African source, perhaps Swahili dinga "seizure, cramp," with form influenced by Spanish dengue "prudery" (perhaps because sufferers walk stiffly and erect due to the painful joints which characterize the disease). The disease is from East Africa and was introduced into the West Indies in 1827.