Help on "a pox on the lot of you"

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BCBD:
Hi,all!
Could sb. tell me what "a pox on the lot of you" means?

I am non-English speaker.
I find it while reading an online English novel.Since I can not find it in a dictionary, I try to get help here.
It seems to me that it means something cursing, but I do not know what it really means and why. What does "lot" here mean? Does it mean "many"?

Help! Thanks a lot!
Best regards,
Bcbd
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Paul Burke:
[nq:1]Could sb. tell me what "a pox on the lot of you" means? I am non-English speaker. I find it ... but I do not know what it really means and why. What does "lot" here mean? Does it mean "many"?[/nq]
You are right, it is a curse.
A pox is a disease which involves a rash. There are several- smallpox (variola), cowpox (famous as the origin of vaccination), chicken pox (varicella). I suspect meningitis would have been described as a pox. And finally syphilis. I suspect the speaker would have intended smallpox or syphilis, if it wasn't merely a conventional phrase.

'The lot of you' means 'all of you'.
Paul Burke
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Nick Wagg:
[nq:1]Could sb. tell me what "a pox on the lot of you" means?[/nq]
I shall add just a couple of things to Paul Burke's excellent answer and that is that sometimes "plague" is used in place of "pox", a plague being another type of horrible (and deadly) disease.

Also, the phrase is sometimes "a plague on all your houses", "houses" meaning "households", i.e. "all who live in your houses".
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Philip Powell:
[nq:2]Could sb. tell me what "a pox on the lot of you" means?[/nq]
[nq:1]I shall add just a couple of things to Paul Burke's excellent answer and that is that sometimes "plague" is ... the phrase is sometimes "a plague on all your houses", "houses" meaning "households", i.e. "all who live in your houses".[/nq]
Or:
"Go to hell!"

Philip Powell
Looking north across the Derwent Valley and Northumberland to The Cheviot
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sum1:
[nq:1]Hi,all! Could sb. tell me what "a pox on the lot of you" means? I am non-English speaker. I find ... really means and why. What does "lot" here mean? Does it mean "many"? Help! Thanks a lot! Best regards, Bcbd[/nq]
"the pox" is, or was when I lived there, slang for a nasty sexually transmitted disease, mainly syphilis I suppose.
More generally, in the past, it could probably cover a larger group of undesirable maladies, smallpox, chickenpox etc, which were then both common and untreatable.
"the lot of you" tells me that the speaker is directing his ill-will at a group or bunch of people.

Ian
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sum1:
[nq:2]Could sb. tell me what "a pox on the lot of you" means?[/nq]
[nq:1]I shall add just a couple of things to Paul Burke's excellent answer and that is that sometimes "plague" is ... the phrase is sometimes "a plague on all your houses", "houses" meaning "households", i.e. "all who live in your houses".[/nq]
"A plague on both your houses", wasn't it, that is if you're referring to Shakespeare's oft-quoted line from Romeo and Juliet?

Ian
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Nick Wagg:
[nq:1]"A plague on both your houses", wasn't it, that is if you're referring to Shakespeare's oft-quoted line from Romeo and Juliet?[/nq]
Doh! Thanks.
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David Picton:
[nq:1]Hi,all! Could sb. tell me what "a pox on the lot of you" means? I am non-English speaker. I find ... know what it really means and why. What does "lot" here mean? Does it mean "many"? Help! Thanks a lot![/nq]
Here is a dictionary which you may find useful in future:

http://www.ldoceonline.com /
To access the online version, click on the large circular button marked "online".
Here is another useful link (which allows you to look up a word in several dictionaries):
http://www.onelook.com /
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