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dew poison

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dew poison n Also dew itch, ~ poisoning Pronc-sp dew pizen chiefly S Midl, esp sAppalachians Cf dew sore n
Any of various rashes or infections of the feet or legs, believed to be caused by dew; the presumed agent causing such rashes or infections; rarely, a foot disease of cattle.
1912 Cobb Back Home 110 KY, He couldn’t even go barefooted in summer, because if he did his legs would be broken out all over with dew poison. 1913 Kephart Highlanders 229 sAppalachians, “Dew pizen,” presumably the poison of some weed, which, dissolved in dew, enters the blood through a scratch or abrasion. As a woman described it, “Dew pizen comes like a risin’, and laws-a-marcy how it does hurt! . . My leg swelled up black to clar above the knee. . . I lay on a pallet on the floor for over a month. . . I’ve seed persons jest a lot o’ sores all over, as big as my hand, from dew pizen.” 1946 PADS 6.11 eNC, Dew poison. . . Sores on the feet, usually between the toes; caused by parasitic mites. Among bare-footed boys. . . Common. 1954 PADS 21.25 SC, Dew poison [dɪu, dʒu-] . . Ringworm on the feet, especially on the toes; athlete’s foot; an infection caused by hookworm. Upcountry. In the Pee Dee this is called foot itch. 1960 Hall Smoky Mt. Folks 50 wNC, eTN, St. John weeds wet with dew . . will cause “sores and risin’s” (“dew poisoning”) on the skin. c1960 Wilson Coll. csKY, Dew poison. . . Ringworm on the feet. Some cases may be hookworm. Also called ground-itch (eetch) or toe-itch. 1966–70 DARE (Qu. BB25, . . Common skin diseases) Inf SC32, Dew itch; KY34, Dew poison; SC3, Dew poisoning; (Qu. K28, . . Diseases that cows have) Inf KY86, Dew poison—same as foot or hoof rot. c1974 Jones Ozark Hill Boy 10 AR (as of c1920), We went barefooted all summer and our stumped toes were too sore to bear shoes until almost Christmas. . . We always expected to have cold frost-bitten toes, blistered with dew poison before the first snow fell.


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