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What is meant by the line, "If I don’t get the hydrophoby" from "The...

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xoxosoftball2 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 12, 2008 at 5:23 AM via web

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What is meant by the line, "If I don’t get the hydrophoby" from "The Call of the Wild"?

explain what a hydrophoby is

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urthona | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted August 12, 2008 at 6:38 AM (Answer #1)

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"Hydrophoby" is a folksy pronunciation of hydrophobia, better known today as rabies.

Rabies was once called hydrophobia because an early symptom of the fatal disease is difficulty in swallowing. When offered a drink of water, victims would often refuse to drink, showing what appeared to be a fear of (-phobia) water (hydro-).

So, the kidnapper is worried that he might contract rabies from Buck's bite.

(Today, hydrophobia is most commonly used to mean "fear of going into or swimming in water," and rabies is used to mean the disease.)

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