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English Glossary of Causes of Death and other Archaic Medical Terms

Jacksonian March

The spread of abnormal electrical activity from one area of the cerebral cortex to adjacent areas, characteristic of jacksonian epilepsy. [Whonamedit]

Jail Fever

Typhus Gravior. Typhus carcerum in Latin. [Hooper1822]



Japanese Flood Fever

Scrub Typhus

Japanese River Fever

Scrub Typhus




A disease proceeding from obstruction in the liver, and characterized by a yellow color of the skin, etc. The term is most probably a corruption of the French word jaunine, yellowness; from jaune, yellow. [Hoblyn1855]

Icterus. Jaundice not a disease but rather a sign. It is a sign of yellowish staining of the skin and sclera (the whites of the eyes. The yellowing is due to abnormally blood high levels of the bile pigment bilirubin. The yellowing extends to other tissues and body fluids. Jaundice was once called the "morbus regius" (the regal disease) in the belief that only the touch of a king could cure it. [Medicinenet]

"jaundice" was first used: sometime around 1303 [Webster].

Example from a 1789 London, England Death Record:

Example from a 1922 Death Certificate from Georgia:

Black Jaundice

Melaena or Weil's Disease.

Example from an 1871 death record from Michigan:

Black Jaundice

Melaena or Weil's Disease.

Blue Jaundice

Cyanopathy. A disease in which the body is colored blue in its surface, arising usually from a malformation of the heart, which causes an imperfect arterialization of the blood. [Webster]

Catarrhal Jaundice

An obsolete term for viral hepatitis type A. [CancerWEB]

Green Jaundice

Icterus Viridis

Lead Jaundice

Icterus Saturninus

Red Jaundice


Yellow Jaundice

Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes caused by an accumulation of bile pigment (bilirubin) in the blood; can be a symptom of gallstones or liver infection or anemia. [Wordnet].

Example from a 1734 London, England Death Record:

Example from an 1891 death certificate from West Virginia:

Example from a 1922 Death Certificate from Georgia:



Joint Evil A serious septicemia of newborn animals caused by pus-producing bacteria entering the body through the umbilical cord or opening and typically marked by joint inflammation or arthritis accompanied by generalized pyemia, rapid debilitation, and commonly death—called also navel ill, joint ill, pyosepticemia. [Merriam Webster].

Example from a 1734 London, England Death Record:

Jungle Fever

Malarial Fever, Malaria. [Stedman 1918].

Jungle Rot

Skin disorder induced by a tropical climate. [Wordnet]