General English


  • noun venereal disease, gonorrhoea. The only widespread slang term for the condition, this word was derived from french (clapoir, meaning a swelling, or clapier, meaning a brothel) in the late 16th century. It became a taboo, and therefore slang term only in the 19th century. The specific reference to gonorrhoea had widened to include other venereal diseases by the 1950s.