[From Mona Miscellany second series Manx Soc vol 21]

[ Meeyl Chreen]

"A flesh-worm."

A worm that burrows under a person’s skin, causing great itch. It is said of it—

" Dy beagh ee er e bolg myr t’ee er e dreeym,
Shimmey mac dooinney yinnagh ee harrish y cheym."
" If it were on its belly as it is on its back,
Many sons of men would it put over the style."

It is a prevailing idea that the itch and other irritating cutaneous diseases are caused by insects, or worms, under the skin. This insect is said to lie with its back towards the flesh, and its feet, or feelers, towards the skin, under which it creeps. It is supposed that if the position of the creature would be reversed, so that the insect would have its feet, or feelers, towards the flesh, it might then burrow into the flesh, and thereby cause the death of the person affected, whereby " many sons of men " (many people) " would be put over the style "—that is, would die, and would find their resting-place in the churchyard—" over the style " of the churchyard.


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