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summer complaint n

1 also summer complaints, ~ sickness: A severe gastrointestinal infection esp of children in summertime; broadly, diarrhea.

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contains audiocontains DARE survey quotes
  • 1819 Republican Compiler (Gettysburg PA) [1 Sept 2]/5 (, 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.

2 Fig: a summer vacationer, esp an annoying one.coastal Maine, Cape Cod Massachusetts

  • 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].
  • 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.’