The French Pox
is another name for syphilis
. Apparently, it was the Spanish
who concocted this name for the venereal disease
as a public relations
strike against the French. The French, in return, similiarly referred to syphilis as the Spanish Pox
Syphilis is theorized to have originated in the Americas where its strategy of sexual transmisson and long period of incubation is more conducive to a sparsely populated continent. The disease first surfaced in Europe in the years following 1492 in and around port cities along the coasts of Spain and Portugal. Thus the introduction of the disease into Europe is largely attributed to Christoper Columbus' expeditions to the New World.
The disease continued to spread along coastal port cities first in southern Spain then continuing towards the western coast. Further spreading of the disease into Europe was perhaps facilitated by conflicts between the French and the Spanish. It was in those conflicts that the terms "French Pox" and "Spanish Pox" originated.
See also: Syphilis, Gonorhea, Venereal disease, Christoper Columbus, New World, 1492, Safe sex, Safer sex, Sexually transmitted disease, STD, Condoms, Small pox, Pox, "Watch your balls!".