Medical Slang in British Hospitals

Medical Slang in British Hospitals is given a detailed examination by Adam T. Fox, Michael Fertleman, Pauline Cahill and Roger D. Palmer in : Ethics & Behavior, Volume 13, Issue 2, 2003.

“The usage, derivation, and psychological, ethical, and legal aspects of slang terminology in medicine are discussed. The colloquial vocabulary is further described and a comprehensive glossary of common UK terms provided in the appendix.”

Some examples :

Cheese_and_OnionCheese & Onion*  The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, because of its green and yellow cover. Also known as the “Bible”

Freud squad – Refers to psychiatrists.

GPO – Good for parts only.

N = 1 trial – Polite term for experimenting on a patient.

UBI – Unexplained beer injury, for all those hungover people on Sunday mornings with black eyes/swollen knees and no idea how they’d got them.

A full version of the paper may be found here.

BONUS: (related only via words) The Rutles perform ‘Cheese and Onion’

* Improbable author’s note to himself : errrr, shouldn’t that be cheese, onion and tomato?

Coming Soon : Are you having a bubble bath?

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