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king's evil

scrofula: so called because it was supposed to be curable by the touch of the reigning sovereign.
Origin of king's evil
1350-1400; Middle English kynges evel Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for king's evil

king's evil

(pathol) the king's evil, a former name for scrofula
Word Origin
C14: from the belief that the king's touch would heal scrofula
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for king's evil

"scrofula," late 14c., translates Medieval Latin regius morbus; so called because the kings of England and France claimed to heal it by their touch. In England, the custom dates from Edward the Confessor and was continued through the Stuarts (Charles II touched 90,798 sufferers) but was ended by the Hanoverians (1714).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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