Typhoid Mary(redirected from typhoid)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A person, especially a woman, who spreads misery or ill fortune to other people or endeavors. A reference to the epithet of Mary Malon, a cook who was thought to have infected 22 people with typhoid fever from 1900-1907 as an asymptomatic carrier. You treat me like I'm some kind of Typhoid Mary, but it's only your mismanagement that has brought ruin to this farm. After yet another company where she worked went bankrupt, Janet began to feel like something of a Typhoid Mary.
A carrier or spreader of misfortune, as in I swear he's a typhoid Mary; everything at the office has gone wrong since he was hired . This expression alludes to a real person, Mary Manson, who died in 1938. An Irish-born servant, she transmitted typhoid fever to others and was referred to as "typhoid Mary" from the early 1900s. The term was broadened to other carriers of calamity in the mid-1900s.
You can describe someone as Typhoid Mary if they bring bad luck or harm to other people. After the relationship ended, she became a Typhoid Mary, spoiling the romantic lives of everyone around her. Note: Typhoid Mary was a cook who spread the disease typhoid to several hospitals that she worked in, though she never became ill herself.