[Ads-l] "kick kicksey" -- a disease unknown (and not in the OED) today?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Nov 29 16:12:21 UTC 2014

In Google, I see two instances of the term "kick kicksey" used in 
America to refer to some disease, one in 1753 (a runaway servant) and 
the other in 1807 (potentially among militiamen).  What disease was it?

1753 Oct. 25, Pennsylvania Gazette:  "James Brannon, an Irishman 
born, about 20 years of age,
has been much afflicted with the kick kicksey and jaundice ..."

1807 July 26, letter, William Tatham, Lynhaven, to Thomas 
Jefferson:  "I wish we had regular officers: for, I fear the Militia 
will all die of the Kick kicksey, with sleeping in the sun ..."

The OED says "kicksey" = "breeches, trousers".  ("kick," n.1, sense 
6.a, has the same meaning.)  Does this suggest a disease of the 
gastrointestinal tract, such as dysentery ("bloody flux")?

(I cannot try EEBO or ECCO from home.)

Joel Berson  

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

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