1893 text

Pepy’s spells this procedure sometimes with a ‘c’ and sometimes with a ‘g’ but a clyster however spelt is what today is termed and enema. D.W.

6 Annotations

Phil Gyford   Link to this

Also, Glyster or Glister: an enema.

dirk   Link to this

So nothing to do with tennis...

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

OED connection;Clyster or should I clysterize
1. A medicine injected into the rectum, to empty or cleanse the bowels, to afford nutrition, etc.; an injection, enema; sometimes, a suppository.
clyster, clister.
1543 TRAHERON Vigo's Chirurg. VIII. xviii. 216 A Clyster is a noble remedye to dryue out superfluitees of the guttes

3. A contemptuous name for a medical practitioner (cf. CLYSTER-PIPE). Obs.
1621 FLETCHER Thierry i. sc. 1 [addressing a physician] What's that to you, or any, Ye dross, you powder'd pigs~bones, rubarbe glisters?
1622 FLETCHER Sea Voyage I. i, Come Surgeon, out with your glister-pipe And strike a galliard
WOOD Life 3 May an. 1661, John Haselwood, a proud starch'd, formal and sycophantizing Clisterpipe, who was the Apothecary to Clayton when he practiced Physick.
clysmatic A method of injection or infusion; transfusion.
1684 tr. Bonet's Merc. Compit. XIX. 714 An Operation of Infusion, or a new Clysmatick, or sort of Clystering, when through an opened Vein, by putting a small Pipe into the Orifice, there is injected..some liquor, etc.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Coincidently my poor husband has just had to have a diagnostic colonoscopy: far worse than the procedure was the effects of the drug taken to cleanse the colon first. I do sympathise with Sam.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I must sadly join the club (again), next Friday, Susan.

Pauline   Link to this

"By the seventeenth century--the enema's "golden age"--primative bellows made of an animal bladder attached to a wooden or bone tube were replaced by a piston-and-cylinder device of copper or porcelain, which was know as a clyster. Itinerant clysterers plied their trade throughout France, and at Versailles courtiers collected deluxe pearlized and silver models, which they used up to three times a day. Louis XIV, a colossal eater, has been nicknamed the "Moon King" for holding court while an attendant administered one of the two thousand scented purges he is said to have enjoyed during his long reign. (Poisoned clysters became a popular murder weapon for the aristocracy; one would rather not imagine how these dark deeds were avenged.)"

from The New Yorker, Sept 3 & 10, 2007 . Judith Thurman, "The Fast Lane."

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