Q: Latin or pseudo-Latin "ulcocalculus"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Mar 7 20:30:57 UTC 2013

At 3/7/2013 02:34 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>On Mar 7, 2013, at 1:50 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> > If Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, who in 1710 performed the first operation by
> > an American to remove a gallstone, was called an "ulcocalculus", what
> > would that mean?  I get as far as "calculus" = "stone", but then it
> > becomes guesswork.  "Ulco" from "ulcus" in the sense of "sore" or
> > "abscess" -- an insulting appellation, a nonce-word?  How might that
> > be expressed in English?  "Sore-stone"?
> >
> > Joel
> >
>ulcer stone?

A literal translation, but do ulcers have stones?

However!  Perhaps along these lines -- "Ulcer", something "forming an
open sore attended with a secretion of pus or other morbid
matter".  Then 2.a, fig., "Any corroding or corrupting influence; a
morally diseased or unsound element" and
[2.]b. "Applied to persons. rare."
1602   J. Marston Antonios Reuenge i. iv. sig. B4v,   Yon putred
vlcer of my roiall bloode.
1615   R. Brathwait Strappado 34   This wicked vlcer that corrupts
the state, Nere thinkes of death, till that it be too late.

Boylston as "a corrupting influence"?  In this interpretation, all I
need is some pithy, insulting appellation with a near or remote
connotation of ulcers/ulcerations/sores and (gall) stones! Perhaps
(since Boylston was associated with smallpox inoculation) "Mr. Pocky-
or "Variolar-stone"; or (are we here?) "Mr. Tumerous-stone"?


>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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