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  1. #1
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    Question Saint Vitus Dance?

    Sain Vitus Dance is a strange neurological disorder. It's characterized by quick involuntary movements of of the feet or the hands. Today, it's also known as "Sydenhyam's Chorea". It's called "Saint Vitus Dance" because Saint Vitus is the patron saint of of those who suffere epilepsy.

    To have (got) Saint Vitus Dance (Tener el baile San Vito):

    In Spanish, the phrase "He/She's got Saint Vitus Dance" became popular to refer to someone who is unusually behaving hyper, moving a lot and -probably- laughing. It's also used to refer to someone who needs to pee urgently.

    ---------------------
    My question is:
    Although the disease is also known
    in English as Saint Vitus Dance,
    Is this expression only used in Spanish?

    ---------------------

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Saint Vitus Dance?

    Yes. There are some English-speaking folks who will recognize St. Vitus' Dance as the name of a disease, but I've never heard it used to describe the urgent need of a bathroom.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Saint Vitus Dance?

    Thanks Ouisch!

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    Default Re: Saint Vitus Dance?


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    Default Re: Saint Vitus Dance?

    I've heard, or more probably read, it used to describe a series of jerky movements (here's one: "...Mahler conducting as if he had St Vitus's dance...") but only in the sense of referring to the disease, not "Oh, that silly John's got St. Vitus' dance again."

    And not the urgent need to pee thing, no.

    Is it the old-fashioned name that makes it fair game for this kind of use? I cannot imagine anyone writing "...Mahler conducting as if he had Sydenham's chorea," at least not for publication.


    [native speaker, not teacher]

  6. #6
    CHOMAT is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Saint Vitus Dance?

    In French :Danse de Saint GUY [gi] not used for spending any penny !

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    Default Re: Saint Vitus Dance?

    My husband knows all the steps to that dance! :)

  8. #8
    CHOMAT is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Saint Vitus Dance?

    A dancer in vitus !

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Saint Vitus Dance?

    In Spanish, I only heard that as a joke, mocking at someone, etc.
    In English is a sickness. No idiomatic expression.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Saint Vitus Dance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria Aguilar View Post
    In Spanish, I only heard that as a joke, mocking at someone, etc.
    In English is a sickness. No idiomatic expression.
    Same as Italian!!! Mostly used when addressing fidgety pupils in class.

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