"severe sore throat, inflammation or swelling of the throat, extreme tonsillitis," late 14c., quinesie, qwinaci, from Old French quinancie, variant of esquinance (Modern French esquinacie) and from Anglo-Latin quinancia, from Late Latin cynanche, from Greek kynankhē "sore throat," also "dog collar," literally "dog-choking," from kyōn (genitive kynos) "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog") + ankhein "to strangle" (from PIE root *angh- "tight, painfully constricted, painful").
The earlier form in English was squinancy (mid-13c.), from Medieval Latin squinancia and Anglo-French esquinauncy, esquinance. These, with the Modern French form and Spanish esquinancia, Italian schinanzia, etc., have an unetymological parasitic -s- (compare sbirro).
updated on March 15, 2021