Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper
vendredi 19 juin 2009
Delirium - Etymology
1599, from L. delirium "madness," from deliriare "be crazy, rave," lit. "go off the furrow," a plowing metaphor, from phrase de lire (de "off, away" + lira "furrow"). Delirium tremens is Mod.L., "trembling delirium," introduced 1813 by British physician Thomas Sutton, for "that form of delirium which is rendered worse by bleeding, but improved by opium. By Rayer and subsequent writers it has been almost exclusively applied to delirium resulting from the abuse of alcohol" [Sydenham Society Lexicon of Medicine].