Having woken up this morning with a head full of cold, I got to wondering why we call it a ‘cold’.

Well, hooray for the internet. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word ‘cold’ in the sense of ‘common cold’ came into use in the 1530s because the symptoms resembled those of exposure to cold temperatures. It’s true – cold weather does make my nose run something awful!

The word itself comes from Old English cald or ceald. ‘Sneeze’ is also an Old English word fneosan. ‘Mucus’ is from Latin for slime. Lovely.

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