corner graphic

Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


Resource Toolbox
Additional Links

One who pretends to knowledge of which he is ignorant, a charlatan, particularly a medical impostor. The word is a shortened form of "quacksalver" (Du. kwaksalver ), in which form it is common in the 17th century, "salver" meaning "healer," while "quack" (Du. kwakken ) is merely an application of the onomatopoeic word applied to the sounds made by a duck, i.e. gabble or gibberish. In English law, to call a medical practitioner a "quack" is actionable per se without proof of special damage ( Allen v. Eaton (1630), I Roll. Abs. 54). The often-quoted legal definition of a "quack" is "a boastful pretender to medical skill," but a "quack" may have great skill, and it is the claim to cure by remedies which he knows have no efficacy which makes him a "quack" (see Dakhyl v. Labouchere, The Times, 29th of July 1904, and 5th and 9th of November 1907).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Quack'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

Search for…
Enter query in the box:
Choose a letter to browse:
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M 
N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  Y  Z 

Prev Entry
Next Entry
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology