American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A small tropical flea (Tunga penetrans), the fertilized female of which burrows under the skin of animals and humans, causing intense irritation and sores that may become severely infected. Also called chigger, jigger2, sand flea.
- n. See chigger.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A very curious insect of the order Aphaniptera, or fleas, and family Pulicidæ, Pulex or sarcopsylla penetrans, closely resembling the common flea, but of more minute size, found in the West Indies and South America. The female burrows beneath the skin of the foot, and soon acquires the size of a pea, its abdomen becoming distended with eggs. If these eggs remain to be hatched beneath the skin, great irritation and even troublesome sores result. The insect must be extracted entire, and with great care, as soon as its presence is indicated by a slight itching or tingling.
- n. A larval harvest-mite, as the so-called Leptus irritans. Same as red-bug and jigger, 2.
- n. A small tropical flea, Tunga penetrans, whose females burrow under the skin of animals, including humans, and lay their eggs, causing strong irritation and sores.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A species of flea (Tunga penetrans, formerly Pulex penetrans), common in the West Indies and South America, which often attacks the feet or any exposed part of the human body, and burrowing beneath the skin produces great irritation. When the female is allowed to remain and breed, troublesome sores result, which are sometimes dangerous. See jigger.
- n. small tropical flea; the fertile female burrows under the skin of the host including humans
- from Cariban chico. (Wiktionary)
- Possibly from Galibi chico or of African origin; see jigger2. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The floor was planked, not, as I found, from any regard for the comfort of the slaves, but because a small insect, a species of chigoe, which is in the soil, might get into the flesh of the poor creatures, and produce a disease which might ultimately kill them.”
“It is like the red "chigoe" which inserts his tiny head in the flesh and burrows until he causes a throbbing fester.”
“The chigoe fleas burrowed holes in his feet, which festered and made him limp.”
“One enterprising and annoying insect, the chigoe, or "jigger," is able to bore a hole through the sole of a shoe and attack the foot.”
“When a person feels an irritation in these parts, he must immediately look at the place; and if he discern a tiny black point, surrounded by a small white ring, the former is the _chigoe_, or sand - flea, and the latter the eggs which it has deposited in the flesh.”
“One of the most important of these is the jigger-flea or chigoe”
“They will not live together, but every chigoe sets up a separate ulcer, and has his own private portion of pus.”
“When a person feels an irritation in these parts, he must immediately look at the place; and if he discern a tiny black point, surrounded by a small white ring, the former is the chigoe, or sand - flea, and the latter the eggs which it has deposited in the flesh.”
“The chigoe (_Pulex penetrans_) of the Gulf coast is still more injurious, because it burrows under the surface and deposits its eggs to be hatched out slowly with much irritation.”
“PARASITE: _Larva of a Trombidium, Leptus americanus, or harvest bug, misnamed jigger (chigoe).”
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