An ailment causing real or imagined nausea, fainting, or dizziness on the part of Victorian women or women of similar delicate sensitivity. The cause is something seen or heard which so offends their modesty, there is no response they are capable of uttering. Typically a matter of sexual or cultural taboo is being violated, such as the mention of a sexual or excretory organ in conversation.
1. When Larry Summers claimed that men may have a greater innate ability in math than women, MIT biologist Nancy Hopkins had the vapors. In her own words she later explained "if I hadn't left, I would've either blacked out or thrown up."
2. The reaction of characters played by Margaret Dumont in the films of the Marx Brothers to something shocking.