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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Lata \La"ta\, Latah \La"tah\, n. [Malay.] A convulsive tic or hysteric neurosis prevalent among Malays, similar to or identical with miryachit and jumping disease, the person affected performing various involuntary actions and making rapid inarticulate ejaculations in imitation of the actions and words of another person.


n. (context pathology English) A condition found in Malaysia and nearby areas characterised by extreme suggestibility; also, a person suffering from this malady.

Latah, WA -- U.S. town in Washington
Population (2000): 151
Housing Units (2000): 75
Land area (2000): 0.334150 sq. miles (0.865444 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 0.334150 sq. miles (0.865444 sq. km)
FIPS code: 38495
Located within: Washington (WA), FIPS 53
Location: 47.281714 N, 117.156634 W
ZIP Codes (1990): 99018
Note: some ZIP codes may be omitted esp. for suburbs.
Latah, WA
Latah -- U.S. County in Idaho
Population (2000): 34935
Housing Units (2000): 13838
Land area (2000): 1076.653236 sq. miles (2788.518961 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 0.237866 sq. miles (0.616071 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 1076.891102 sq. miles (2789.135032 sq. km)
Located within: Idaho (ID), FIPS 16
Location: 46.786040 N, 116.802597 W
Latah, ID
Latah County
Latah County, ID

Latah, from Southeast Asia, is a condition in which abnormal behaviors result from a person experiencing a sudden shock. When surprised, the affected person typically engages in such behaviors as screaming, cursing, dancing type movements, and uncontrollable laughter, and will typically mimic the words or actions of those around them. Physical symptoms include an increased heart rate and profuse sweating, but no clear physiological source has been identified.

Latah is considered a culture-specific startle disorder that was historically regarded as personal difference rather than an illness. Similar conditions have been recorded within other cultures and locations. For example, there are the so-called Jumping Frenchmen of Maine, the women of the Ainu people of Japan (imu), the Siberian ( miryachit), and the Filipino and Thai peoples; however, the connection among these syndromes is controversial.

Latah (disambiguation)

Latah may refer to:

  • Latah, a culture-specific startle disorder
  • Latah County, Idaho
  • Latah, Washington

Usage examples of "latah".

Bulletins from Party Headquarters are spelled out in obscene charades by hebephrenics and Latahs and apes, Sollubis fart code, Negroes open and shut mouth to Hash messages on gold teeth, Arab rioters send smoke signals by throwing great buttery eunuchs -- they make the best smoke, hangs black and shit-solid in the air -- onto gasoline fires in a rubbish heap, mosaic of melodies, sad Panpipes of humpbacked beggar, cold wind sweeps down from post card of Chimborazzi, flutes of Ramadan, piano music down a windy street, mutilated police calls, advertising leaflet synchronize with street fight spell SOS.

Otherwise sane, Latahs compulsively imitate every motion once their attention is attracted by snapping the fingers or calling sharply.

The citizen put one rope on and the Latah, going along the way Latahs will, put on the other.

We have imported a thousand bone fed, blue ribbon Latahs from Indochina.

They wanta play Latah, they wanta merge with my protoplasm, they want a replica cutting, they wanta suck my orgones, they wanta take over my past experience and leave old memories that disgust me.