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.