Pronounced: UL-ihj, noun

Notes: A nice, useful word that I did not know

Yesterday’s word

The word tarantism means “a dancing mania or malady of late medieval Europe”


In the 1500s the town of Taranto in Italy was hit by a dance craze; people had a hysterical impulse to dance and was called “tarantism”. Some people claimed that this impulse was caused by the bite of the the European wolf spider, called “tarantula” — also after the name of the town. The folk story was that dancing was the only cure to the bite. Musicians would show up in the region to help cure the epidemic. There is some belief that the Italian folk dance called the “tarantella” resulted from this craze (note that this is the word that I referred to as knowing); however, “tarantella” may have just come from the town name instead of the dance name.

First usage

The word showed up in the mid-1600s

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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