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pox can be an illness that creates pus-filled pimples or a rash on the skin. Many of the diseases have a modifier before pox, such as chicken pox, smallpox, or monkeypox. Whether the malady name is one word or two varies and one should double-check names that are uncommon. It should be noted that pox is sometimes used to mean the specific disease of syphilis.

Pox may also be used to mean a curse or hex you wish placed upon someone or something.

Pox is not the name of the sores or blisters caused by a pox. This confusion may arise from calling the scars left behind pockmarks.

The plural is either pox or poxes. The adjective form is poxy. It should be noted that poxy is also an informal adjective used outside the United States to signify something as without worth or not of good quality.


A bill requiring every public school student get vaccinated for chicken pox and whooping cough is expected to be signed by the governor, but it didn’t happen soon enough for kids in the Flathead. [ABC Fox Montana]

The nightmare scenario for many mainstream politicians is that in an atmosphere of a pox on all their houses, the National Front might be in the running for many of them, including the top job of all — president of France. [CBC]

I’ve even cogitated over “hidden killers” within Tudor homes, such as poisons, poxes etc. And, yes, clearly, dying in bed at home of pox could be viewed as somewhat of a treat in Tudor times, when burning and beheading were alternatives, but it is good to know the TudorWatchdog-type risks. [The Independent]