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dew poison n

Also dew itch, ~ poisoningPronc-sp dew pizenchiefly South Midland, esp sAppalachians

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.

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contains DARE survey quotes
  • 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.