[Q] Mar. mo.dasii (cholera)

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Thu Jun 11 15:02:14 UTC 1998

Just some speculative comments.  The word mo.dasii is probably related to
the verb mo.da.ne "to break, to be broken" in Marathi.  A fractured hand
can be described as: haat mo.dalaa.  But when one feels muscle fatigue
during flu, one can say anga mo.duun aale aahe : lit. "my body is all
broken up."  By extension, the same verb is used to describe cramps of the
stomach : po.taat ka.l mo.da.ne.  I suppose the word mo.dasii is related
to stomach cramps in the course of Cholera.
                                                Madhav Deshpande

On Thu, 11 Jun 1998, Dominik Wujastyk wrote:

> Colleagues,
> A Marathi word for Cholera seems to be "mo.dasii".  This was picked up by
> the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, and got into circulation in
> European sources as "mordisheen" and similar words (including
> "mort-de-chien", which seems very apt!).
> I've looked in the obvious places (CDIAL, Mayrhofer, various Prakrit and
> Pali dicts.), but can find no history for the word.
> Can anyone help?
> All the best,
> Dominik
> --
> Dr Dominik Wujastyk,                FAX:        +44 171 611 8545
> Wellcome Institute for              URL:        http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucgadkw/
>   the History of Medicine,          Email:      d.wujastyk at ucl.ac.uk
> Wellcome Trust, 183 Euston Road,    Trust URL:  http://www.wellcome.ac.uk
> London NW1 2BE, England.
> First Rule of History:
>   History doesn't repeat itself -- historians merely repeat each other.

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