When Grandpa Was A Boy, Were There Any Dinosaurs?

My Head Hurts

1981: The anthropologist Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney explained how the Ainu people of southern Sakhalin, rather than describe headaches as splitting or throbbing or whatever, identified them in terms of animals.

A bear headache resembled the clumping footfalls of a bear, while a musk deer headache resembled the much lighter galloping of a musk deer. The noise of a dog gnawing on a bone or other hard object gave its name to the dog headache. The woodpecker headache sounded and felt like a woodpecker drilling into a tree trunk.

Aquatic animals supplied the names for headaches accompanied by a chill: an octopus headache, like the sucking of octopus tentacles; a crab headache, like the prickly sensation of a crab crawling over the skin; and a lamprey headache felt like a lamprey burrowing into one’s head (lampreys dig holes in rocks).

Source: Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, Illness and Healing among the Sakhalin Ainu: A Symbolic Interpretation (1981), pp. 49–52

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