Sexual DictionaryDictionary of the F-Word


The oldest known sexually-transmitted-disease , it is caused by the spiral-shaped Treponema-pallidum bacterium which enters the blood stream through the mucous membranes. Syphilis is spread through unprotected vaginal, anal, oral-sex (acquired syphilis); pregnant women can pass it to their babies (congenital syphilis). SYMPTOMS: Once the bacteria enters the body, the disease develops in three stages: In STAGE ONE or PRIMARY SYPHILIS, a small, painless (75% of the time), red or pink sore (known as a chancre) may appear at the spot (around or in the vagina , on the penis , or inside the mouth or anus) where the germ first entered the body, usually between 9 to 90 days after infection; it may disappear if not treated, but the germ remains in the body. In STAGE TWO or SECONDARY SYPHILIS, 6 weeks to 6 months after infection, flu-like symptoms may be experienced , as well as a skin rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, as well as over the body. Again the symptoms may disappear without treatment, but the germ remains in the body. In STAGE THREE or TERTIARY SYPHILIS, 15-20 years later, serious health problems set in, including gummas (large ulcers) that devastate the muscles, liver, lungs , eyes and/or endocrine system, heart diseases , neurosyphilis which effects the brain (brain damage) and spinal cord, blindness, paralysis, psychosis, and even death. These stages are sometimes broken down into four stages instead of three: In Primary Syphilis: A chancre appears. In Secondary Syphilis: The chancre disappears. In LATENT SYPHILIS: No apparent symptoms and the carrier is no longer contagious. However, the bacterium begins to invade the system and organs of the host's tissues. 50 to 70 percent of carriers pass the rest of their lives without the disease leaving this stage. The reminder pass into last stage syphilis. In Late Syphilis: 15-20 years after the onset of latent-syphilis , the disease starts damaging the body and can result in death. TREATMENT: Penicillin injections. Patients sensitive or allergic-to penicillin often use tetracycline or erythromycin. Treatment cures the disease but not the damage done to the body before treatment.

Etymology: First appeared in 1530 in a poem by Girolamo Fracastoro Syphilis sive Morbus-Gallicus (Syphilis or the French disease) a tract which purported to show both the symptoms and possible treatment of the malady; Syphilus is the name of the hero.

Synonyms: (RS = rhyming slang with pox or syph): 606 ; bad-blood ; band-in-the-box (RS); bang-and-biff (RS); bank-and-biff (RS); big-casino ; big-S ; blood-disease ; blue boar(d); bone-ache ; bone-ague ; boogie ; cardboard-box (S); chancre; coachman-on-the-box (RS); English-disease ; English-malady ; French-ache(s) ; French-crown ; French-disease ; French-fever ; French-goods ; French-gout ; French-measles ; French-mole ; French-pig ; French-pox ; Gallic-disease ; (the) great imitator; (the) great pox ; Irish-mutton ; Jack-in-the-box (RS); lues ; malady-of-France ; measles; Morbus-Gallicus ; Morbus-Hispanics ; Morbus-Indicus ; Morbus-Neapolitanus ; Naples-canker ; Neapolitan-bone-ache ; Neapolitan-consolation ; Neopolitan-disease ; Neapolitan-favour ; Nervo-and-Knox (RS); Polish-disease ; Phyllis (RS); (the) pip ; (the) pox ; Reverend-Knox (RS); Reverend-Ronald-Knox (RS); scabbado ; secret-disease ; Sid-Phillis ; siff; siftless ; sigma-phi (RS); siph ; Six-o-Six ; Spanish-gout ; Spanish-needle ; Spanish-pip ; Spanish-pox ; special-disease ; specific ulcer; syph ; sypho (syph-o); Turkish-disease ; Venus'-curse ; vice-disease ; women's-disease .See also: acquired-syphilis ; congenital-syphilis ; antiluetic ; antisyphilitic ; frenchified ; knocked-with-a-French-faggot ; pox-ridden ; poxed ; poxy ; siffy ; Winchester-goose .


(1) Professor Abraham Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins) in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1993): ' Blood and the diseases of the blood, such as syphilis, which concerns us here. The very name venereal-diseases, the diseases of Venus , imputes to them a divine origin .'

(2) Professor Abraham Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins) in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1993): ' Civilization and syphilisation have advanced together .'

(3) A short poem by Lou Perelli (Alan Arkin) and Ruben Martinez (Andy Garcia) for Judge W. Myers (David Ogden Stiers) in Steal Big, Steal Little (1995): ' May bleeding piles torment you and corns adorn your feet / And crabs as big as horse flies dig into your balls and eat / And when you're old and weary and a siphilitic wreck / May you fall through your own bottom and break your bloody neck .'

(4) Paul (John Malkovich) in Shadows and Fog (1992): ' I never do-it with a whore . You start out with a burning desire and you end up in the morning with a burning sensation, if you know what I mean .'

(5) Maj. Benson W. Payne (Damon Wayans) to the JROTC cadets in Major Payne (1995): 'You'll get no sympathy from me. If you want sympathy, look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis. That's where you'll find sympathy. '

See Also: 606, acne syphilitica, acquired syphilis, antiluetic, antisyphilitic, bacterial sexually transmitted diseases, bacterial STDs, bad blood, bad disease, band in the box, bang and biff, bank and biff, big casino, big S, blood disease, blue boar, bone ache, bone ague, boogie, bube, bubo, cardboard box, coachman on the box, congenital syphilis, cunnilinguate, curse of Venus, darkfield exam, delicate disease, dose, double event, English disease, English malady, fellate, French ache(s), French crown, French disease, French fever, French goods, French gout, French measles, French mole, French pig, French pox, frenchified, full hand, full house, Gallic disease, general paralysis of the insane, GPI, great imitator, the, great pox, the, hereditary syphilis, Irish mutton, Jack in the box, knocked with a French faggot, latent syphilis, lues, luetic, malady of France, Morbus Gallicus, Morbus Hispanics, Morbus Indicus, Morbus Neapolitanus, Naples canker, Neapolitan bone ache, Neapolitan consolation, Neapolitan favour, Neopolitan disease, Nervo and Knox, Phyllis, pip, Polish disease, pox, pox-ridden, poxed, poxy, preventable disease, primary syphilis, Reverend Knox, Reverend Ronald Knox, scabbado, secondary syphilis, secret disease, sexually transmitted disease, shanker, Sid Phillis, sif, siffy, siftless, sigma phi, siph, siphnianize, Six-o-Six, soft chancre, Spanish gout, Spanish needle, Spanish pip, Spanish pox, special disease, spring a leak, syph, syphilis, syphilitic, syphilitic acne, syphilitic arthritis, syphilophobia, sypho, tertiary syphilis, Treponema pallidum, Turkish disease, venereal disease, Venus' curse, vice disease, Winchester goose, women's disease

Quotes Containing syphilis:
Maj. Benson W. Payne (Damon Wayans) to the JROTC cadets in Major Payne (1995): ''You''ll get no sympathy from me. If you want sympathy, look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis . That''s where you''ll find sympathy.''
Professor Abraham Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins) in Bram Stoker''s Dracula (1993): ''Blood and the diseases of the blood, such as syphilis , which concerns us here. The very name venereal-diseases, the diseases of Venus , imputes to them a divine origin.''

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