Cabin fever

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The term cabin fever is an idiom that is of unknown origin. We will examine the meaning of the expression cabin fever, when it was first used and some examples of that use in sentences.

Cabin fever is the phenomenon that occurs when someone is stuck inside for a protracted period of time, unable to get outside into fresh air or to interact with other human beings. The oldest known use of the term cabin fever to mean a type of claustrophobia caused by being forced into a period of isolation occurred in the early 1900s. It seems to have originated in North America. The image is one of a pioneer spending long winters by himself on the Great Plains, where severe weather and distances from neighbors were truly isolating. The term cabin fever was coined in the early 1800s and originally referred to the disease of typhus. Today, cabin fever is often cited in a humorous fashion.


By late winter a little cabin fever has set in, and WINONArts and the Park and Recreation Department, in conjunction with TREEDOME Productions, have just the solution: two days of free programming with something for everyone: music, games, great food, and family fun! (The Winona Post)

Cabin Fever Days started with a group of folks out in the woods looking for new ways to cut loose during the winter. (The Flathead Beacon)

“It’s just a way for people in this part of the country and the state to get out and stretch their legs and have something to do, especially when a lot of us have cabin fever.” (The Reading Eagle)