Why Is Chicken Pox Called Chicken Pox?

Q:
Why is chicken pox called chicken pox?

A:
Chicken pox doesn’t mean chicken with pox. As far as the name is concerned, it is one question that most doctors don’t know the answer for. There are numerous theories on why chicken pox is called so. Some of the relevant ones are:

  • The boils on the skin of a person suffering from chicken pox resemble the peck marks caused by a chicken.
  • The red blisters that appear on the skin were thought to look like chickpeas
  • Chickens were usually associated with weakness
  • An old English word giccan which means ‘to itch’ was corrupted into chicken. Also, pox was spelled as pocks (plural form of pock — an old English word)

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.