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    Default Etymology of NERVOUS

    When was 'nervous' first used as a synonym for anxious rather than just literally pertaining to the nerves/nervous system

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    Default Re: Etymology of NERVOUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    When was 'nervous' first used as a synonym for anxious rather than just literally pertaining to the nerves/nervous system
    The word nervous came into English language in 1350-1400 and it literally meant sinewy.
    The term nervous breakdown came into use in 1900-1905 and it meant any disabling mental disorder.
    With the passage of time, the term nervous breakdown was referred to simply nervous.

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    Default Re: Etymology of NERVOUS

    Nervous breakdown was used consistently by doctors so that the person afflicted was not categorised as having any mental problem; the latter was always looked down on by people who did not know better. Today, of course, the correct term for nervous breakdown is depression.

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    Default Re: Etymology of NERVOUS

    It goes back to circa 1860s in America.

    (Also, 'nervous breakdown' is purely a layman's term, used to describe a very wide variety of experiences, and cannot simply be equated with 'clinical depression'. Mostly, though, people reporting "I'm having a nervous breakdown" describe a crisis situation where they have reached rock bottom and 'falling to pieces', and can't function in a normal way.)

    Why not register as a full member, rather than a fly-by-night, so potential responders to your query don't view it as just being 'used' by some anonymous person who has stuck his head round the corner, and next minute, disappears, wham bam, thank you Sam.

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    Default Re: Etymology of NERVOUS

    Hmm. Our unregistered guest does not seem to have stuck around.
    Probably off, peppering YahooAnswers and other sites with the same question, then trawling later on to see how many people have given of their time...

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    Default Re: Etymology of NERVOUS

    What happened to not harassing other people then? Previously UNREGISTERED I wasn't sure how to use the site and the replies certainly weren't very welcoming .... I even spelt my new user name wrongly as I was so "harassed". The question was less about "nervous breakdown" (although many more sarky replies it could be!) but the colloquial use of nervous in place of anxious. is that, too, a 20th century thing (...just before I slope off again.)?

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    Default Re: Etymology of NERVOUS

    Quote Originally Posted by HenryRestrcited View Post
    What happened to not harassing other people then? Previously UNREGISTERED I wasn't sure how to use the site and the replies certainly weren't very welcoming .... I even spelt my new user name wrongly as I was so "harassed". The question was less about "nervous breakdown" (although many more sarky replies it could be!) but the colloquial use of nervous in place of anxious. is that, too, a 20th century thing (...just before I slope off again.)?
    Yes, I think you may have struck a chord. However, it is true that this site is abused from time to time and the moderators are aware of this. It is not the policy here to harass and I think you have been mistaken for a speculative visitor.
    I do not expect immediate contact as I have to move about and cannot be here to check for replies all the time. When I get email reminders I follow them up and respond.

    So, Henry Restricted (to give you your proper spelling) please continue to post. Do not be put off by any occasional barb as it may be in error.

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    Default Re: Etymology of NERVOUS

    Quote Originally Posted by apex2000 View Post
    Yes, I think you may have struck a chord. However, it is true that this site is abused from time to time and the moderators are aware of this. It is not the policy here to harass and I think you have been mistaken for a speculative visitor.
    I do not expect immediate contact as I have to move about and cannot be here to check for replies all the time. When I get email reminders I follow them up and respond.

    So, Henry Restricted (to give you your proper spelling) please continue to post. Do not be put off by any occasional barb as it may be in error.
    Still not sure how to respond to individual comments (or correct my user name) but any further info on the colloquial use of nervous (i.e. for anxious) would be most welcome.

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    Default Re: Etymology of NERVOUS

    Quote Originally Posted by SUDHKAMP View Post
    The word nervous came into English language in 1350-1400 and it literally meant sinewy.
    The term nervous breakdown came into use in 1900-1905 and it meant any disabling mental disorder.
    With the passage of time, the term nervous breakdown was referred to simply nervous.

    So, nervous meaning anxious. Is that a 20th century idiom,too?

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    Default Re: Etymology of NERVOUS

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    It goes back to circa 1860s in America.

    (Also, 'nervous breakdown' is purely a layman's term, used to describe a very wide variety of experiences, and cannot simply be equated with 'clinical depression'. Mostly, though, people reporting "I'm having a nervous breakdown" describe a crisis situation where they have reached rock bottom and 'falling to pieces', and can't function in a normal way.)

    Why not register as a full member, rather than a fly-by-night, so potential responders to your query don't view it as just being 'used' by some anonymous person who has stuck his head round the corner, and next minute, disappears, wham bam, thank you Sam.
    Now that I am a (not-warmly-welcomed) full member (previously UNREGISTERED as I'd never use d site like this before) I am actually going to extricate my head from round that corner AND disappear - if overnight breaks are allowed!

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