If you’re ever going to get that band of yours out of the garage and into the arena, you’ll need a sweet name. Like Mouse Rat. Or Jesse and the Rippers. It may seem like all the cool ones are already taken, but fear not, the world is your oyster (just don’t name your band that!). No matter your musical inclinations, there’s still a mostly untapped resource out there chock full of kick-ass potential names: The Medical Dictionary. Here are 10 seldom-used terms just begging to be stenciled on your drum head.
Usually edema, dropsy is swelling brought on by an accumulation of fluid in the soft tissues. It’s also the perfect banner under which to scream those heavy-hearted emo lyrics. Prior to pharmaceutical options, treatments once included bloodletting (which actually worked). Now go ahead and sing the sorrow.
2. St. Anthony’s Fire
Caused by eating ergot, a fungus that infects rye. Its symptoms include itching, spasms, psychosis and gangrene. It got its dramatic moniker after the monks of the Order of St. Anthony showed some aptitude for treating it. Goth cred: Ergot poisoning is thought to be the cause of the “bewitchments” that spurred the infamous trials in Salem.
3 Black Vomit and
4. Bronze John
Just two of the nicknames for Yellow Fever, it can cause bleeding in the digestive tract, prompting the Spanish to call it Vomito Negro. Think of the album art possibilities! Spread by mosquitos and mostly seen in tropical locales, America’s experience wasn’t limited to New Orleans. A 1793 epidemic in Philadelphia got so bad George Washington had to flee the city. It also yellows the skin, earning it a name worthy of a delta blues man, Bronze John.
5. Bloody Flux
This euphemism for Dysentery, the intestinal disorder that results in bleeding diarrhea, is benign enough to grace an album cover, yet still gross enough for the sneering Sid Vicious types. We’ll just leave this one at that.
6. Bone Shave
There’s probably already an 80s-metal radio show out there with this seldom-used phrase for sciatica. Compression of the sciatic nerve leads to lower back pain, and can even be caused by sitting on a large, Costanza-esque wallet. Needless to say, Bone Shave is so much more metal than Wallet Sciatica.
7. Spotted Fever
Found often in prisons during the Middle Ages, it ravaged populations across Europe for centuries. Spotted Fever is closely related to Typhus, as in Typhoid Mary, the twice-quarantined patient zero of numerous New York outbreaks of Typhoid Fever. Mary was a cook, not a prostitute as many people think, who infected around 50 people from Manhattan to Oyster Bay.
A dyskinetic disorder characterized by involuntary movements, this one has EDM written all over it. One of the symptoms is dancing! Ok, so it’s not so much dancing as it is twisting and writhing, but it has been described as “dance-like.” Still, though, Chorea sounds harmonic, right?
9. King’s Evil
Also known as scrofula, this name for tuberculosis of the neck lymph nodes came about because its cure was supposedly a touch from royalty. For serious. King Charles II is said to have touched 90,000 afflicted in the 1600s. No word on how many he actually cured, but let’s just round down to zero. Consider this one if your singer sounds like he smoked two packs a day in coal mine.
Naming your band after herpes may scare off the groupies, so it’s a good thing you’re all about the art. Right? Scrumpox is the result of skin contact with the Herpes Simplex Virus, hence its history with contact sports – from MMA to Sumo – the “scrum” comes from the close contact in rugby. In fact, one notable outbreak took place in 1989, when 60 high-school wrestlers were infected while attending a training camp. This band name was made to make mosh pits. Debut album suggestion: Moshpox.