Depending on the time, different words had much different meanings. Below are a few outdated terms you may encounter, and their modern equivalent.
Some Brief Notes
Some of today's familiar words had different meanings during colonial times in the USA and earlier times in other parts of the world.
The change in meaning often happened in words referring to social relationships. As examples:
- "cousin" often meant niece or nephew
- "Mrs." could show high social status, not marital status
- "niece" and "nephew" spring from Latin words which meant "granddaughter" and "grandson," so you may find them used in that context.
- When we use the words "junior" and "senior," we normally think of a father and son relationship. However, in the past, these words were used more liberally and could refer to an uncle and nephew, or to two people with the same name who were unrelated.
- "brother" and "sister" also were used in different ways. Members of the same church often referred to each other as brothers and sisters, and a married couple would refer to their brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law just as brothers and sisters.
- "in-law" in the past could be either step relationships or the regular in-law relationship that we think of today.
General Outdated Terms
toxemia of pregnancy
septicemia (bacterial infection)
glomerulonephritis (kidney disease)
congestive heart failure
tuberculosis of the spinal vertebrae
tuberculosis fo the neck lymph nodes
eclampsia (high blood pressure/seizures)