Monday, 27 February 2012

Leper Juice

Nobody knows where the dan in dandruff comes from, but the second syllable probably derives from the Old English hreofla meaning leper. Perhaps there was a particular flaky chap called Dan.

I hate to tell you this, but there is a thing called leper juice. It's the stuff in the lesions. The things you find in the OED. I'm off to start a soft drinks company.

Incidentally, the World Health Organisation think leprosy's got a bad reputation and prefer to call it Hansen's Disease. This must be a great comfort to those dying of leprosy, but not to people called Hansen.

Not a speck in sight.


  1. HI Mark - notice your adverbial 'ly' addition to a number of words... always wondered about this, and drove my English teacher mad as I always insisted likely should be likelyly when used as an adverb.

    By the way, subject idea: box seat, as in 'in the box seat'??

    did a quick search and didn't see it, so hoping that's worth doing...

    1. I can't quite see how likely would be used as an adverb except in relation to an auxilary verb where I'd always use probably.

  2. Mark
    The -druff bit is interesting, thank you. I couldn't help wondering if the dan- is from the same origin as dander.

    I found a web based etymology dictionary ( that suggested the Latin redundare (redundant) as an origin.

    It seems a plausible route...


    1. Perfectly plausible. I just kept out of an enigmatic syllable that I didn't need for the post.