A wearing death
In the Summer issue, reader Brian Lake asked about “a wearing” listed as a cause of death.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “wearing” as: “Exhausting, tiring; enfeebling by continued strain or irritation”. A Family Historian’s Guide to Illness, Disease & Death Certificates, by Elizabeth Briggs, defines exhaustion as “weakness and inability to respond to stimuli, fight infection and disease”.
Could “a wearing” be a general term for any disease or condition that gradually wore a person out? For example, I have two death certificates, one of which gives cause of death as “exhaustion due to suppuration of the spine”, which a doctor friend tells me was tuberculosis, and the other as “exhaustion due to old age”. Carolyn Paisley, by email Editor replies: Has any other reader come across “a wearing” as a cause of death?