blue cough n [Calque of Ger blauer Husten (PaGer blohhuuschde); see quot 1892]
A paroxysmal cough; whooping cough.
1863 in 1904 Jrl. Amer. Folkl. 17.111 sePA, To Drive Away the Blue Cough. Cut off three little locks of hair from the crown of a child which had not seen its father in its life-time; hang it about the child which has the blue cough, in a piece of unbleached cloth. [DARE Ed: From a translation of Der lang Verborgene Freund of Johann Georg Hohman of Berks Co. PA, first published (in German) c1819.] 1877 MI Secy. of State Annual Rept. Births, Marriages & Deaths for 1872 6.347, Causes of Death Specified. . . Unknown. [Footnote to unknown:] Includes 2 “Blue Cough;” 1 “Female Complaint;” [etc].] 1892 Hare System Therapeutics 2.553, The recognition of whooping cough in the convulsive stage is an easy matter. The series of rapid, sudden, explosive, breath-taking coughs, attended by the evidence of venous stasis, cyanosis—whence the old name, blue cough— . . ; the prolonged expiratory efforts . . ; and the gradual cessation of the disease, sufficiently characterize it. 1923 Sat. Eve. Post 24 Mar 19/3 ePA, Since then I have been all the time at home, while my wife was not so good and my little boys had the blue cough and I had no reason to come to town. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. BB12, The kind of cough that comes with bronchitis: “He has a _____ cough.”) Infs MS60, PA147, TN43, WV14, Blue.