Why Is It Called Chicken Pox?

As children, everyone had heard and exclaimed, “Don’t scratch that chicken pox!” But have we ever pondered why this medical condition is referred to as chicken pox? Well, it’s not like the virus originated in a chicken barn.

So, why is it then given the name chicken pox? Let’s understand this curious phenomenon and find out why it’s called chicken pox.

Why Is It Called Chicken Pox?

Have you ever wondered why the contagious disease we know as Chickenpox is called Chickenpox? While the answer isn’t entirely clear, there are a few theories as to why it got its name.

Read on to find out more about the possible roots of the word.

Theory 1: It Was Named After Chickens

One common theory for why the illness is called “Chickenpox” is that it was named after chickens due to the pox-like shapes of the lesions the disease produces on the skin.

The chickenpox rash can often look like the bumps a chicken has all over its body, making them appear to be a bit poxy.

Theory 2: It Was Called After the German Words

Another theory as to why Chickenpox is called Chickenpox is that it was named after the German word “Geflügelpocken”, which translated means “chicken pocks”.

This leads us to believe that Germans were the first to name the disease, and that they were likely aware of the similarity between the pox-like shapes of the lesions and those of a chicken’s.

Theory 3: Its Symptoms Resemble Those of All Other Poxes

The final theory as to why Chickenpox is called Chickenpox is that its symptoms are very similar to those of all other poxes. Chickenpox is caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses as other poxes like smallpox, mumps, and even the flu.

It makes sense, then, that the name of the disease is similar to the other poxes in order to emphasise the similarities between their causes and symptoms.


In conclusion, the answer for why Chickenpox is called Chickenpox is still pretty unclear.

It’s possible that the name is derived from a few different sources, including the pox-like shapes of a chicken’s bumps, the German word “Geflügelpocken”, and the similarities between the viruses that cause pox diseases. Whatever the true story may be, it is clear that the name has been around for a very long time and is used to refer to this common contagious disease. Citation URL: https://en.

wikipedia. org/wiki/Chickenpox https://www. medicinenet. com/chickenpox/article. htm https://www. webmd. com/skin-problems-and-treatments/picture-of-chicken-pox#1

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