Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. A highly contagious tropical disease that chiefly affects children, caused by the spirochete Treponema pertenue and characterized by raspberrylike sores, especially on the hands, feet, and face. Also called frambesia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A contagious tropical disease, caused by the spirochete Treponema pertenue, characterized by yellowish or reddish tumors, which often resemble currants, strawberries, or raspberries.
  • n. Plural form of yaw.
  • v. Third-person singular simple present indicative form of yaw.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A disease, occurring in the Antilles and in Africa, characterized by yellowish or reddish tumors, of a contagious character, which, in shape and appearance, often resemble currants, strawberries, or raspberries. There are several varieties of this disease, variously known as frambœsia, pian, verrugas, and crab-yaws.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A contagious disease of the skin, endemic in many tropical regions: same as frambœsia.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an infectious tropical disease resembling syphilis in its early stages; marked by red skin eruptions and ulcerating lesions

Etymologies

From American Spanish yaya, sore, from Carib yaya, disease.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • You must ask your examining surgeon if he is acquainted with the distemper of the yaws, which is the virus of

    History of Louisisana Or of the Western Parts of Virginia and Carolina: Containing

  • The cousin diseased causes yaws which is an infection caused by a sub-species of the same bacteria.

    Christopher Columbus Responsible For Syphilis Spread According To New Study

  • Mr Hayward said there were two curved friction marks, or "yaws", on the road where the car had spun out before hitting the barrier and coming to a rest on its side.

    New Zealand Herald - Top Stories

  • I also believe, after reading The Cruise of the Snark, Charmian's The Log of the Snark, and Martin Johnson's Through the South Seas With Jack London, that the tropical diseases London contracted while on the Snark voyage, especially yaws or "Solomon Island sores," and even moreso London's liberal treatment for them consisting of corrosive sublimate of mercury applied to the sores, ruined his kidneys and hastened his death eight years later.

    Interview With Professor Jeanne Campbell Reesman

  • One surgeon recorded the local treatment for the sores of yaws was to scrub until they bled freely before rubbing lime into them, at which "the strongest men have shrieked and yelled and even wept like children".

    Amputations, acid gargles and ammonia rubs: Royal Navy surgeons' 1793-1880 journals revealed

  • Except when wide yaws took it off its course, a bidarka was heading in for the beach.

    NAM-BOK THE UNVERACIOUS

  • Taboo subjects: ordinary domestic scenes, love between Africans (unless a death is involved), references to African writers or intellectuals, mention of school-going children who are not suffering from yaws or Ebola fever or female genital mutilation.

    Four More « Gerry Canavan

  • But here we are, seven experienced fishermen, heatedly discussing the identity of a little brown-barred creature as the charter boat heaves and yaws, knocking everyone off balance.

    The Mid-Life Slam

  • Over the next five seconds, as those on the ground watch in disbelief, Aircraft 4 leans slightly right, then yaws left, sliding through the air like a car skidding through a curve.

    The Dream Machine

  • They did, but only of a certain type: those diseases in which the host can remain infected for a long time, such as amoebic dysentery, leprosy, and yaws, or those diseases that have microbes that can maintain themselves in alternative hosts, like water or insects, such as schistosomiasis or yellow fever.

    Pestilence and Headcolds: Encountering Illness in Colonial Mexico

Comments

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  • "Henry Laurens was a formal man with a sharp temper and a judgmental eye with his merchandise. When the Hare was still at sea, he wrote several letters to friends complaining that he was already swamped with business, and saying that he would prefer that the ship go to another port. 'The place is quite clog'd with slaves that God knows what we shall dow ith them,' he told one man. When the Hare reached Charleston, only about 110 people on it were still alive. 'Really they are a wretched cargo,' Laurens wrote a friend. 'They are a most scabby flock, all of them full of the Crocheraws'—meaning the yaws, a contagious skin disease. Nevertheless, Laurens placed his advertisement for this group of 'Healthy Slaves.'"
    —Edward Ball, Slaves in the Family (NY: Ballantine Books, 1998), 193

    For those unaware (or not keeping track), Henry Laurens, a slave trader, was a leading citizen of South Carolina and served as the president of the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War. His son, John, however, was a bona-fide war hero and spent several years of his too-short life seeking to free slaves and enlist them (voluntarily) in the Continental army. (His plans to do so were shot down by his father and by others, including George Washington.)

    October 13, 2009

  • Sway in reverse.

    November 3, 2007