A dear friend reports to me that she had chicken pox, and immediately I became curious about the name. Do chickens have pox? Do hogs or cows or ducks or have chickenpox, and would you call it duckpox? How can you cathch it? How can you tell under the feathers? Vets say no, that chickens do not have pox, and you can’t catch it from them. There are several variations on the word “Circe” reported to be the Old English root derived from the Latin which simply means young foul or chickpeas or any number of others things. Another suggestion is that pox are named after the imprint left on your arm when you gather eggs from under a hen and she doesn’t particularly like it and pecks you on the arm. I also investigated a term I got wrong: Pox Vobiscum. Found out it is Pax Vobiscum, Latin meaning, “Peace be with you.” There’s very little peace when you have chickenpox since you are occupied with the itch, itch, itch. Maybe Pox Vobiscum would be better, but then my Latin is a little itchy.