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Gonorrhea, also called “the clap” is an extremely contagious sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is a bacterial infection that affects both men and women. Men are more likely to exhibit symptoms associated with the disease. The infection is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium, also known as the gonococcus, which is transmitted through vaginal, oral, and anal sex and infects the penis, rectum, vagina, eyes, and throat.
The ones who do display the signs suffer from painful urination, testicular discomfort due to pain and swelling in one of the testicles, or a pus-like discharge. Whilst for oral gonorrhea, which is a growing concern people tend to have a sore throat.
Why Is Gonorrhea Called The Clap?
Gonorrhea has been referred to as ‘the clap” since the 1500s. The clapped slang was coined at the same time as the term for the disease itself. It is common to refer to an STD by a slang term due to the taboo and social stigma that surrounds discussing or talking about them. There many STDs that have a slang term attached to them like AIDS is sometimes called Hi-Five, syphilis is referred to as “syph” or “lues”. Sometimes people confuse chlamydia as the clap because the actual chlamydia nickname is very similar to the clap. Chlamydia is referred to as “the clam”.
The slangs or nicknames for the disease are usually based on the disease itself or a very prominent aspect that defines the disease. As for the clap, there are different theories speculating the origin of the term.
What is the Clap? – Theories
There are various different theories around the term “the clap”. Here we mention three of why gonorrhea is called the clap?
- Some etymologists believe that the term is based on an old-archaic English word “clappan” which means “beating or throbbing”. This can be used to define the symptoms caused by gonorrhea, like painful urination and the swelling of the penis or vagina.
- According to another theory the term is derived from the French word “clapier” which refers to brothels. In the 1500s the word clapier was used for referring to a rabbit’s nest. Due to the very active sex lives of rabbits, the term started being was used for brothels too. During that time, brothels were where people extracted such diseases, so people started using the term for the disease itself. Gonorrhea was referred to as “clapier bubo”. Bubo was the inflamed lymph node on the groin area.
- Some people believe that the term was coined with reference to the treatment used for gonorrhea in medieval times. The treatment for gonorrhea in males involved clapping or smashing the penis with both hands at the same time to get rid of the pus or discharge in the urethra. The treatment caused major damages and did not get rid of the infection as well.
Gonorrhea – The Clap | In Recent Times
Gonorrhea or “the clap” is usually treated using antibiotics. N. gonorrhoeae has been showing signs of resistance since the early 1940s. This is worry-some as there are no stand-alone therapies waiting as backups.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that less complicated gonorrhea can be treated using antibiotics like ceftriaxone, which is administered through an injection. If someone is allergic to ceftriaxone, they can be given oral gemifloxacin or injectable gentamicin.
STD testing is recommended for people who have an active sex life and even if you don’t it’s good to stay ahead of things. Gonorrhea has been very prevalent since medieval times. Manhattan Medical Arts offers STD testing so that you can keep your health and sex life in check.