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According to the site etymonline :

Sense of "indisposition involving catarrhal inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose or throat" is from 1530s, so called because the symptoms resemble those of exposure to cold

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Robin Alwine

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2y ago
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12y ago

Because it was widely believed before people knew what viruses were that the illness known as the common cold was caused by exposure to cold weather, since that is the time of year that cold and influenza viruses are more active. This belief/myth has persisted and is still a common belief, but cold does not cause a cold or flu. A season for colds and flu is not a result of cold temperature, but due to the relative humidity in the air that time of year (in the US and Europe, for example). When the humidity is too high, flu viruses become inactive or less active. Cold and flu viruses like it dry. See the related questions below for more information.

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16y ago

The term came from the days when people though you could catch a cold simply because you were exposed to cold weather. "Don't catch your death of cold!", they would say when someone went outside. Now we know better, but the term stuck. However, it is possible to become sick after being chilled too long. It can lower your immune system making your body more prone to catching a virus or two. Although the cold weather itself does not make you sick, to association was made and the term was coined.

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13y ago

During the summer you people are usually outside but in the winter it's actually the opposite. Also, during the summer you people open the windows but in the winter

you don't. So therefore the viruses or bacterias that causes cold is trapped in the house with you during the Winter. So opening the window in the winter to let all the bacteria or viruses out could help, but i don't recommend it.

CORRECTION

During the summer, you people are usually outside but in the winter, it is actually the opposite. In addition, during the summer, you people open the windows but in the winter,

you do not. Therefore, the viruses or bacteria that cause cold are stuck inside the house with you during the winter. So opening the window in the winter to let all the bacteria or viruses out could help, but i do not recommend it.

The discovery of viruses is actually fairly new. Colds have been around much longer than the knowledge that viruses exist. Colds seemed to come around more often during cold seasons, and it used to be believed (and still is by some) that exposure to the cold can cause a cold. Know we know that people concentrating indoors is a much more likely method of spreading colds around. Thus colds are probably called "colds" because they are associated with cold weather.

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10y ago

There are two common explanations for why a cold is called a cold.

It isn't frequent, but sometimes there is a fever with a common cold. When you have a fever, you sweat and can get the chills and feel cold. That is what some people say is the reason behind calling an infection with a rhinovirus (the common cold virus) a "Cold".

A more favored explanation is attributed to ancient times when there was no understanding of germs or what caused infectious diseases. The people noticed that they most often would be sick with the common cold in the winter. With their limited understanding of infectious processes, they assumed that the sniffles and other symptoms of a common cold were caused by the cold weather itself in the winter. They then began calling it a "Cold".

To this day, some people still believe that you can catch a cold by being outside in cold temperatures or by being wet and cold in the weather (this has been scientifically tested and found to be incorrect). Being cold and wet really is coincidental to having been infected with the rhinovirus when it is most active in the winter.

It is ironic that when people are trying to avoid being cold, and try to stay warm and huddled closely together in winter so they don't "catch a cold", that they actually are more likely to catch and spread the virus due to the close contact.

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14y ago

In ancient times, most people caught colds in winter when it was cold, hence the name. They thought colds were caused by the cold weather. Numerous scientific studies have proven that being cold does not cause people to catch colds or make them more susceptible. The reason people caught more colds in winter was simply because they collected together for warmth and their close proximity increased the spread of the cold from one person to the next.

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13y ago

Yes, they call it a cold.

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Q: Why is it called a cold if you have a fever?
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