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summer complaint

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summer complaint n
also summer complaints, ~ sickness: A severe gastrointestinal infection esp of children in summertime; broadly, diarrhea.
1819 Republican Compiler (Gettysburg PA) [1 Sept 2]/5 (newspaperarchive.com), We have been confidently assured . . that what is called the summer complaint may be cured with gun-powder—a tea spoon full pulverized, and taken with a little water. 1847 Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia Proc. 3.232,On the endemic gastro-follicular Enteritis, or Summer complaint of children. 1848 in 2004 DARE File—Internet NY, Barry, Cordelia [Age] 6. . . Cause of Death. . . summer complaint. 1860 Ibid IL, Callarant, Alcist [Age] 2 [Died from] Summer complaint. 1909 DN 3.377 eAL, wGA, Summer complaint. . . Diarrhea: the disease often becomes prevalent in the summer or in fruit season. 1914 Furman Sight 46 KY, Seven sons of my body have I laid in the grave, three in infancy of summer-complaint. 1937 Sandoz Slogum 84 NE, He said he had summer complaint, could n’t eat a single peanut. Weak as a cat. 1945 Pickard–Buley Midwest Pioneer 40 (as of c1820), For “summer complaint” or dysentery would be prescribed a poultice of peppermint and tansy leaves. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. BB19, Joking names for looseness of the bowels) 10 Infs, 6 NEast, Summer complaint; PA49, Summer complaint—for babies; VA46, Summer sickness; (Qu. BB13, . . Chills and fever) Inf IL77, Summer complaint; NJ3, Summer complaint—old-fashioned; (Qu. BB49, . . Other kinds of diseases) Infs MO21, PA54, Summer complaint; KS13, Summer complaint—diarrhea and upset stomach; KY41, Summer complaints—baby’s disease caused by lack of food, flies, unsanitary conditions—old-fashioned; PA36, Summer complaint—diarrhea, vomiting, fever. 1967 DARE Tape PA64, [FW:] Do you know a disease called the “summer complaint” that children used to get? [Inf:] Oh, yes—diarrhea. . . Toasted bread and milk was one of the best things for that. 1970 NC Folkl. 18.19, For diarrhea (“summer complaint”), use drink made from bark of peachtree root. 1975 Gould ME Lingo 282, There actually is a warm-weather distemper Mainers call the summer complaint; it usually means loose bowels and an accompanying lethargy.
Fig: a summer vacationer, esp an annoying one. coastal ME, Cape Cod MA Cf rusticator n, summercater n, summer people n pl
1924 DN 5.287 Cape Cod MA, A ‘summer complaint’ is not any disease which presents itself during the summer; instead it is a name applied by the natives to summer residents. 1926 AmSp 2.82 ME, They [=summer residents] wouldn’t feel quite so superior if they knew that behind their backs they are “summer complaints.” 1975 Gould ME Lingo 282, Summer complaint. . . Transferring the term to the tourist and recreation clientele undoubtedly involves editorial comment. . . Actually, amongst well oriented summer people, the term is no longer wholly objectionable, because a lady summercating on Loud’s Island said, “You’ll have to ask somebody else for directions. I’m just a summer complaint and I don’t know.” 1982 Wilkinson Midnights 33 Cape Cod MA, He called me a summer complaint—what the locals call an annoying tourist. 1999 [see summercater n]. 2004 DARE File—Internet coastal ME, The phrase ‘summer complaint’ used to be heard along the Maine coast throughout the summer—back in the 1950s and 1960s. . . Years ago you might have been sitting in a local diner minding your business and someone by the window would say—to no one in particular—“Secure the moorin’ lines here comes a gang of summah complaints.” Everyone in the diner knew right off . . that the place was about to be invaded by a raucous bunch of oddly dressed people ‘from away.’
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