SweGGate Facts Glossary Swedish (Juridik)

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Swedish Medical "Encyclopaedia"


This section is for more extensive explanations of some of the words listed in the SweGGate medical dictionary as well as some special medical topics. This is by no means a complete medical encyclopaedia - it has only the topics I know something about and have had time to research. The selection is clearly focused on the (assumed) needs for genealogical research and in no way intended to replace regular medical encyclopaedias.
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Word Explanation
sot / sott / soot  = a disease
sot, sott, soot disease in general, especially contagious d. Used as suffix in innumerable combined words for different diseases, see below >>. Most of the words ending in sot can also be written using -sjuka with unchanged meaning. Also used as a prefix as in sotdöd, sotsäng
The word is known in all ancient Nordic languages as well as in ancient Saxon and English languages (there as suht)
Do not confuse with the homograph meaning soot (from fire)
Sometimes the word krämpighet may replace sot.- from krämpa = disease, ailment.
  used as PREFIX
sotdöd death from disease or old age. Created as opposite of "died in battle" which was considered more glorious since "beginning of history". This was so in the Roman Empire (2000 years ago) and already in the Nordic mythology it is claimed that who died in battle would be welcomed at Valhall - an honour not granted to the ones who died "sotdöden"  
sotsäng sickbed, both literally a bed used by a sick person and metaphorically referring to being disabled and weak by disease.
  used as SUFFIX
banesot = fatal disease. Uncommon in Swedish. From Icelandic banasótt
barnasot = barnsängssjuka / barnsängsfeber
bleksot descriptive term meaning "pale disease". Commonly used about blood disorders involving anaemia. Could be anything from simple iron deficiency to leucemia.
blodsot [blod = blood] sometimes = rödsot or other disease manifested by bleeding (except from wounds). Also used about blood diseases.
blåsot condition characterized by bluish discolouring of the skin. Could be heart failure, severe lung disease or prominent swelling. [Lat cyanosis]
brännsot "burning disease" probably any disease with high fever.
bröstsot disease of the chest, probably mostly lung diseases.
buksot abdominal disease
bungsot [bunga = drum]. Disease characterized by distension of the abdomen by gas. (tapping the abdomen produces the sound of a drum). cf vädersot.
dödssot [död = death] = fatal disease (= banesot)
fallsot, fallandesot [falla = (v) to fall]  convulsive disease, usually epilepsy.
farsot = epidemic / pandemic disease
fettsot Disease characterized by extensive accumulation of fat
gallsot Disease related to liver and gall production
gråsot Diarrhoea with greyish faeces (as opposed to rödsot = bloody diarrhoea)
gulsot = icterus
gångsot = farsot.
helsot Usually a slowly progressing fatal disease.
huvudsot [huvud / hufvud = head] Disease of the head, headache etc.
innansot Disease of internal organs
leversot Liver disease
lungsot Lung disease, usually TB (=tuberculosis)
lussot Pustular skin disease caused by lice.
långsot [lång = long]. long-standing / chronic disease
magesot [mage = stomach / abdomen] Disease of the abdomen or specifically the stomach
masksot Disease cause by worm infestation [Lat helmintiasis]
matsot = rödsot
mjältsot [mjälte = spleen]. Disease connected to the spleen. Note that i old medical beliefs the spleen was assumed to be the origin of a large number of diseases / symptoms.
mässlingssot = measles
nässlesot Allergic skin reaction, also named nässelfeber (today also)
nödsot Any disease caused by starvation.
orsasot Orsa is a socken in Dalarna province where a special kind of sandstone was quarried. Working with this (and other stone dust producing jobs) causes silicosis ("stone-dust-lung") and since it was probably common among the workers at the quarry at Orsa it got this name.
pestsot = pest = pestilence
pinksot Condition characterized by large volumes of urine, e.g. diabetes
rännsot Condition characterized by diarrhoea.
rödsot bloody diarrhoea, dysentery [from Greek dys = malfunction and enteron = bowel] of different causes (bacteria, amoebas, cholera etc). Occasionally epidemic outbreaks with a high death rate. 
Now obsolete in human medicine but sometimes used in veterinary medicine.
Similar words: diarré, durchlopp, utsot. cf sot.
sarasot From old Icelandic word sára meaning wound / ulcer. Sarasot was used for illnesses characterized by visible ulcers such as syphilis and (skin) cancer.
själasot From själ = soul, i.e. mental or psychological disorder
skvaltsot Vaguely defined symptom of "laxity" / "looseness" of the stomach/abdomen after drinking too much of too weak beverages.
skalvosot Probably from (v) skälva = tremble, i.e. illness characterized by trembling, cramps or fits.
slemsot Disease characterized by "slimy" secretions
sluksot Grossly increased appetite to the point of illness
smittsot From smitta = (v) infect or (n) contagion i.e. any infectious disease
spetälskesot From spetälska = leprosy
sömnsot From sömn = (n) sleep i.e. disease caracterized by excessive sleeping.
tvinsot [from förtvina = "wither"]  any illness that caused significant weight loss. more>>
tärsot similar to tvinsot.
utsot diarrhoea of any origin.  Similar words: diarré, durchlopp, rödsot.
vattusot abnormal accumulation of fluids in the body, like in the abdomen (Lat: ascites) or legs / feet, oedema. cf svullsjuka.
vädersot [väder here = abdominal gas]. Disease characterized by distension of the abdomen by gas. cf bungsot.
ögonsot From ögon = eyes, i.e. eye disease
Engelska sjukan Lat: rakitis. Rickets (Vitamin D deficiency). Literally "English disease"
magskärv, magskerf Originally the name of the tip of the sternum (the vertical bone joining the ribs at the front). This was believed to sometimes be pointed inwards causing pain in the upper stomach area so the word was used to describe painful stomach diseases too. Since rickets is also sometimes accompanied by stomach pain this word has been used for rickets as well. cf skerfva
moderpassion, modersjuka from "moder" = mother and "passion" =suffering. Old word for "hysteri" = hysteric fits. (hysteric is derived from Greek hystera = womb). Article>>
skerfva variations: skärva, skerva, skirva, skyrva, skörva, skjerv (they all sound very
similar in Swedish)
1 rakitis (Lat) = rickets, a disease caused by vitamin-D deficiency, common in old times when good and sufficient food was hard to get.
2 (local) general malnutrition and slow growth in children connected to chronic bowel disease or "bad digestion". (1712, 1880)
3 magskärv
koppslagning, koppning procedure to draw "bad" blood using cow's horns where the pointed end is cut off. The skin is pierced superficially with a sharp knife or needle, then the wide end is placed on the skin, air is sucked out through the small end which is then sealed. 
purgering, laxering take an aperient (laxative). Popular treatment for most diseases in old times based on the notion of "bad body fluids" and "indigestion".
åderlåtning, slå åder drawing of blood by cutting a vein open. Popular treatment for most diseases in old times based on the notion of "bad blood".

note i brackets like this [p:staat] is pronunciation for English speakers.
SAOB: Svenska Akademiens OrdBok, the huge standard encyclopaedia of Swedish language.
In the "T' = Time column: O = Old times, M = Moderns language, A = All times
Explanation by F Haeffner unless otherwise stated. Mail me your contribution or request.

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Last updated by F Hae 2005-11-23 00:23 © Fredrik Haeffner, 2004-5