Origin of delirium tremens
Word Origin for delirium tremens
abbreviation of delirium tremens (q.v.), attested from 1858.
1813, medical Latin, literally "trembling delirium," introduced 1813 by British physician Thomas Sutton, for "that form of delirium which is rendered worse by bleeding, but improved by opium. By Rayer and subsequent writers it has been almost exclusively applied to delirium resulting from the abuse of alcohol" [Sydenham Society Lexicon of Medicine]. As synonyms, Farmer lists barrel-fever, gallon distemper, blue Johnnies, bottle ache, pink spiders, quart-mania snakes in the boots, triangles, uglies, etc.