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A pox be on you

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on October 27, 2006

In Reply to: A pox be on you posted by Troy on October 27, 2006

: Does anyone know the meaning of "A pox be on you"??? Please help

A pox was any disease whose major symptom was "pocks", i.e. eruptive pustules on the skin, such as small-pox, chicken-pox, or cow-pox (all of which can leave pockmarks). If the kind of pox was not otherwise specified, the "great pox" (syphilis) was what was meant. So "Pox on you!" means "I hope you get syphilis!" Sometimes it is used of inanimate or abstracts things, e.g. in Shakespeare "A pox of that jest!" which obviously makes no literal sense; here it is just roughly equivalent to "To hell with..."

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