Doctor’s Slang



Spotted on the web at:

These have been mostly collected from the UK and USA, with a few non-English contributions (many thanks to all contributors from around the globe). Some of the acronyms are region-specific and have differing meanings in US and UK. It is noticeable that the US has numerous acronyms and slang terms relating to gun-related incidents and injuries. The slang/acronyms are directed variously at patients, other medical staff or mystifying medical conditions. The veterinary appendix – is at the foot of the page.

3H enema – Enema that is “high, hot, and a hell of a lot.” Reputedly given to patients who give staff a hard time.

3P’s – Pill, Permissiveness and Promiscuity (relates to female patients with sexually transmitted disease)

4F – Fair, fat, female and forty OR fat, forty-ish, flatulent female (both mean abdominal pain patient who is candidate for gall bladder disease)

4H – (US) Haemophiliac, Hispanic, Homosexual, Heroin addict

5-H-1-T – polite medical term for shit

10th Floor Transfer – dying (floor number is always the next number on from the highest floor in the hospital).

45C – patient is one chromosome short of a full set (thick)

Acades vulgaris – medical students.

Acronymophilia – excessive reliance on TLAs /TLMs & XTLMs (extended 3 letter acronyms)

Acute Lead Poisoning – Gunshot wound

(Acute Lead Poisoning) 185 grain Injection – 9mm gunshot wound

(Acute Lead Poisoning) 240 grain Injection 44 calibre magnum wound

(Acute Lead Poisoning) Air-conditioned – Multiple gun shot wounds

Acute Hyponicotaemia – desperate for nicotine fix (cigarette)

Acute Pneumoencephalopathy – airhead

Adminisphere – where hospital managers work, reckoned to be “another planet”

ADR – Ain’t Doing Right

AFU & BR – all f***ed up & beyond repair

AGA – Acute Gravity Attack (fell over)

AGMI – Ain’t Gonna Make It (won’t survive)

Aggressive Euthanasia – A procedure that obnoxious patients would benefit from.

AHF – Acute Hissy Fit

Albatross – chronically ill patient who will remain with a doctor until one or other of them expire

ALC – a la casa (send the patient home)

ALS – Absolute Loss of Sanity (nutcase)

Amyoyo syndrome – Alright motherf*****, you’re on your own (seen in head injury patients in Intensive Care)

Angel lust – a male corpse with an erection (not uncommon). Is also sometimes used to mean death that occurred during intercourse.

APD – Acute Prozac Deficiency (depression)

Appy – person with suspected appendicitis

APRS – (US) Acute Puerto Rican syndrome (bouts of screaming and yelling)

APTFRAN – Apply Pillow To Face, Repeat As Necessary (for annoying patient)

AQP – Assuming the Q Position: deteriorating or dying with tongue hanging out

AQR – Ain’t Quite Right

ART – Assuming Room Temperature (dead)

Ash Cash – money for signing a cremation form

Ash Point – where you collect the Ash Cash

Assmosis – promotion by “kissing ass”

AST – Assuming Seasonal Temperature (dead)

ATD – (US) Acute Tylenol Deficiency (simple fever or head cold)

ATFO – Asked To F*** Off

ATS – Acute Thespian Syndrome: faking illness; known in US as MGM syndrome

Aunt Minnie Lesion – once seen, never forgotten, much like certain aunts at the family wedding

Ax(e) – surgeon

Baby catcher – obstetrician

Babygram -x-raying (radiographing) a newborn

Bagged and Tagged (B&T) – Body ready for dispatch to morgue

Bagrinhos – (Brazil) interns (“bullheads” – type of fish that gets in the way of real fishing)

Banana – patient with jaundice

Bash Cash: the money paid for completing accident (insurance) claim forms in A&E

BBCS – Bumps, Bruises, Cuts and Scrapes (i.e. no serious injuries)

BBL Sign (Belly-button Lint Sign) – male, middle-aged, overweight and hairy (an umbilicus that looks like the lint [fluff] trap in a tumble dryer is most common in overweight, hairy, older men). Known as Belly-button Fluff in Britain.

Beached whale – obese patient unable to do much for him/herself except lie there with flailing arms and legs

Benny – patient on benefit (welfare payments)

Betty – a patient with diabetes

BFH – Brat From Hell (usually accompanied by PFH – Parent(s) from Hell)

BFH – Big F****ing Head; hydrocephalus as in a “FLK with a BFH” (can be metaphorical for arrogant consultant)

Blade – Surgeon: dashing, bold, arrogant and often wrong, but never in doubt

Blamestorming – apportioning of blame for mistakes, usually to any locum or lowliest medic in sight

Blood Suckers – those who take blood samples, e.g. lab techs

Blown Mind – gunshot wound to the head.

Blue Blower – patient with severe lung disease

Blue Pipe – vein (as opposed to ‘red pipe’ or artery)

BMT – Bowel-Movement Taco (faecal matter trapped in female genitalia)

BMW – Bitch Moan & Whine

Bobbing for apples – unblocking a badly constipated patient with one’s finger

BOHICA – Bend Over, Here It Comes Again

Bones and Groans – non-specialist general hospital

BoneHo – an off-service resident working in Orthopedics

Boogie or Goober – tumour. A Roasted Goober is a tumour after intensive cobalt treatment; a Healthy Goober is a dead tumour patient.

Bordeaux – bloodstained urine

Bottle return – removing a bottle lodged in the anal canal

Bounce – returning a turfed patient back to original dept (see also turf and buff)

Bounceback – patient who keeps returning to the hospital

Box – to die

Brain Fry – Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) for depression

Brothel Sprouts – Genital warts

Brown trout – a stool that won’t float (as opposed to an air biscuit, which does)

BSS – Bilateral Samsonite Syndrome: patient admitted with both their bags packed in preparation

BTSOOM – Beats The Sh*t Out Of Me

Buff – re-hash the patient’s story to make it sound more appropriate for the patient to be referred to another dept (see also turfing and bouncing)

Buff Up – to ready a patient for release

Bug Juice – antibiotics

Bugs in the rug – pubic lice

Bull in the ring – blockage in the large intestine

BUNDY – But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet

Bungee jumper – a patient who pulls on his catheter tube

Bunnies – Sanitary Towels (sanitary napkins)

Bunny Boiler – (Psych) dangerously obsessive or unbalance woman (based on film “Fatal Attraction”)

Bury the Hatchet – accidently leave a surgical instrument inside a patient.

BVA – Breathing Valuable Air

BWCO – Baby Won’t Come Out (needs Caesarian)

C&T Ward – Coma ward – “cabbages and turnips”

Cabbage – heart bypass i.e. CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft)

Callbellectomy – minor operation, sadly not permitted, to remove over-used call bell from patient’s hand/reach!

Call Button Jockey – patient that uses call button all night long for no good reason.

Calling Doctor Blue [to location] – public address system code for “baffling case needing more doctors to take a look in the hope that one of them will know what to do”

Captain Kangaroo – chairman of a paediatrics department.

Cath Jockey – cardiologist that catheterizes every patient they see (or one that does cardiac catherizations)

CBT – Chronic Burger/Biscuit Toxicity (obesity)

CCFCCP – Coo-coo for Co-Co Puffs (dementia or similar)

Cephosplat – Domestos Antibiotic; Kills all known germs

Ceiling Sign – near-levitation from the bed to the ceiling induced by examining for abdominal tenderness

Celestial discharge – died

Celestial transfer – died (transferred to the Eternal Care Unit)

CFT – Chronic Food Toxicity i.e. obesity

Champagne tap – bloodless lumbar tap

Chandelier’s Sign – The result of any test or probing after which the patient must be removed from the chandelier

Chartomegaly – patient is so frequent s/he has a large (and growing) chart

Cheerioma – a patient with a highly aggressive, malignant tumour

Chocolate Hostage – constipated

Choly / Chole – patient with cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)

Chrome Induced Ischaemia – patient that develops inexplicable chest pains when arrested and handcuffed

CKS – cute kid syndrome

CLL – chronic Low Life

Code 0 – (Ambulance) Time-waster/tax-waster (genuine codes are Code 1 [non-serious] to Code 4 [emergency])

Code Azure – message to other medics to do nothing extraordinary to save a very ill patient who will die shortly no matter what is done

Code Brown – faecal incontinence emergency (e.g. of bedlinen)

Code Pink (Triangle) – a likely homosexual (used back when HIV/Aids tests took a while to come back)

Code Pink (Paediatric) – baby taken without permission from maternity/nursery by family or staff

Code Yellow – urinary incontinence emergency

Coffin Dodger – survived against expectations, or a very old person

Cold-tea sign – refers to the several cups of cold tea on the bedside cabinet beside a dead geriatric (i.e. no-one noticed the patient had died)

COPD – Chronic Old Persons Disease (unwell, no specific cause)

Crackerjack referral – (UK) It’s Friday, it’s five to five, it’s… (Crackerjack was a popular TV show) i.e. Friday afternoon job

CRAFT – Can’t Remember A F*cking Thing

Cranial rectosis – US: butthead (US term for idiot); UK: head-up-ass (arrogant/arrogant fool)

Cranio-faecal Syndrome – s**thead or s**t for brains

Creepers – geriatrics using walkers and wheelchairs

CRI – Cranial-Rectal Insertion or Cranial-Rectal Inversion (head-up-ass syndrome)

Crinkly – geriatric

Crispy critter – severe burns case

Crock – Hypochondriac.

Crook-U – Prison Ward in a hospital (slang to match ICU – Intensive Care Unit etc)

Crop Rotation – Ambulance shuttle service from nursing home to surgery and back again

Crumble (crumbly) – elderly patient

Crump – (UK) RTA [Road Traffic Accident], (US) crash; trying to die

Crump, Gork or Vedgy – Intensive care patient incapable of movement and apparently unaware of his surroundings.

CRS – Can’t Remember Sh*t

CRT – Can’t Really Treat

CTF – Cletus the Fetus (US). A 23 week, or earlier, births that parents expect to survive against all odds

CTD – Circling the Drain (Close To Death)

CTS – Crazier than sh*t

C*nts and Runts – Maternity and Paediatrics

Cut and Paste – To open a patient, discover that there is no hope, and immediately sew him up (or almost immediately – sometimes young surgeons practice surgical techniques for a while).

CYA – Cover Your Ass; unnecessary procedure/prescription done to avoid being sued

D&D – Divorced and Desperate (middle aged female who visits doctor weekly just for male attention)

Dagenham – (psychiatry) or “Three Stops Beyond Barking”: severely disturbed/mad (based on British train station names)

DACB – (US) Drunk As Cooter Brown (UK equivalent is PAAF/PIAF)

Dance – the process of tying a surgical gown behind the surgeon’s back (requires a 180-degree spin by the surgeon: Shall we dance?)

Dandruff on wheels – scabies or other transmissible flaky skin condition

DBI – Dirt Bag Index: number of tattoos x number of missing teeth = days since the patient last bathed

De-coke and Re-bore – Dilatation and curettage (gynae) op

Deep fry – cobalt therapy (radiation therapy)

Departure lounge – geriatric ward

Dermaholiday – nickname for dermatology dept used by staff in busier depts

DFO – (1) (US) Done Fell Out (anything from fainting to cardiac arrest)

DFO – (2) Drunk and Fell Over

DFO-SFJ – Done Fell Out – Screaming For Jesus

DIFFC – Dropped In For Friendly Chat (i.e. no medical problem)

Digging for Worms – varicose vein surgery

DIIK – Darned if I know

DILF – Doctor I’d Like to F*** (Fornicate with): Nursing slang for good-looking doctor

Dirtball – patient who enters the emergency room filthy and smelling badly

Discharged downstairs – transferred to the morgue

DMFNFL – Dumb mother f*cker, not fit to live

Doc In A Box – a small clinic/health centre, with ever-changing staff.

Doing the Twirly – circling the drain (about to die)

Donorcycle – motorbike: the biggest cause of donated organs!

DENTIST – Doesn’t Even Need Treatment – It’s Sorted, Truly

Dishwasher – sterilization machine

Double bind trial – Two orthopods looking at an electrocardiogram

Double Whopper with Cheese – Obese female with genital thrush

Doughnut – CT scanner

DPP – (Brazil) leave patient for the next shift to deal with (“Deixa para o Próximo Plantão”)

DPS – Dumb Parent Syndrome

DPS – (General Practice) Droopy Penis Syndrome: a patient wanting Viagra prescription

DPS – (Hospital) Disappearing Penis Syndrome: the usual reaction of the male organ in response to insertion of catheter or endoscope

DQ – Drama Queen

Dr Feelgood – a doctor who is indiscriminate about prescribing drugs

Drinkectomy – separating a drunk from his can of lager (performed in A&E dept)

Drooler – catatonic patient.

DRT – Dead Right There (patient dead at scene of accident)

DRTTTT – Dead Right There, There, There and There (patient dead and in multiple parts at scene of accident)

DSB – Drug-Seeking Behaviour (faking illness to fuel narcotic addiction)

DSP – Dumb Sh*t Profile

DTMA – Don’t Transfer to Me Again.

DTS – Danger To Shipping (in a particularly large patient’s records)

DWPA – Death/Dying With Paramedic Assistance

Duck – portable urinal for bedridden male hospital patients

Dude Factor – Survival scoring factor based on social worth. A high dude factor = an individual of questionable social worth who survives near-fatal injuries. A low dude factor = professional person who slips in the bathroom sustaining a fatal injury

Dump – patient that nobody seems to want (or to transfer a patient to another hospital)

Dunlap Syndrome – belly done lapped over the waistband; obese (spare tyre, Dunlop being a brand of tyre)

Dys-Synaptogenic – stupid

Eating In – Intravenous feeding

Eating the Bill – (USA) providing care for indigent patients lacking insurance i.e. “We ate the bill on that guy.”

ECU – Eternal Care Unit: heaven (“gone to the ECU = dead)

EDGATWTTTF – Elevator Doesn’t Go All The Way To The Top Floor (thick)

Embromed – (Brazil) imaginary health plan: postponement of solution through hoax.

EMS – Earn Money Sleeping (joke at expense of Emergency Medical Service)

EMT – Extraordinary Masochistic Tendencies (joke at expense of Emergency Medical Technicians)

Engessar – (Brazil) to orient treatment so that the patient can’t complain (literally “to place in a cast”).

ERCP – Emergency Retrograde Clerking of Patient, an emergency procedure before the consultant rounds

ERNOBW – Engine Running, No One Behind the Wheel (thick)

Estropício – (Brazil) poor, unkempt obstetric patient (“jeopardy”).

Eternal Care – Intensive Care (for a patient who won’t come out again)

ETOH – Extremely Trashed or Hammered (2 derivations given: corruption of “Etho” [ethanol addict] or from “EtOH” [chemistry abbreviation for ethanol])

Expensive care – intensive care

Expensive Scare – intensive care

FABIANS – Felt Awful But I’m Allright Now Syndrome

Faecal Encephalopathy – Sh*t for brains

Family Care Plan – One child gets the sniffles, whole family gets a trip to A&E

Fanger – oral surgeon

Fascinoma – Interesting pathology, but not as interesting as the ensuing politics over who gets first authorship when the case is written up

FCBP – Fellow of the College of Bystander Physicians i.e. doctor having a look-see

FD – F*cking drunk

FDGM – Fall Down, Go Boom (see LOLFDGB)

FDSTW – Found Dead Stayed That Way

Feather Count – measure of flakiness (e.g. high feather count)

Feet-up General – a quiet district hospital

FFDID – Found Face Down In Ditch

FFDIG – Found Face Down In Gutter

FFF – see 4F (Fat, Fair, Female, Forty = gall bladder disease)

FHHS – (US) Female Hispanic Hysterical Syndrome (screaming and crying)

FINE – F*cked up , insecure, neurotic & emotional

Finger Wave – rectal exam

FIRT – Failed impact resistance test (crash victim)

FITH – F***ed in the head

Fluttering Eye Syndrome – Patient faking unconsciousness

FLB – Funny Little Bumps (unexplained skin bumps)

Flea – (US) internists, (UK) ethnic nurses (used in 1970s during an influx of imported healthcare staff) i.e. “they get everywhere”

FLK – Funny Looking Kid (sometimes suggests rural inbreeding)

FLK w/ GLM – Funny Looking Kid with a Good Looking Mother

FLKBCOTP – Funny Looking Kid But Check Out The Parents

FLKOFS – Funny Looking Kid, Okay For Sunderland (one of many regional variants of NFN [Normal For Norfolk])

Flower Sign – flowers at a bedside, denotes patient has a supportive family and might be candidate for early discharge

FLP – Funny Looking Parents (hereditary cause suspected for FLK)

FMPS – Fluff My Pillow Syndrome (attention/sympathy seeker), like Call Button Jockey

FOALS NEIGH – F*ck Off And Let Someone Not Extremely Incompetent Get Here

FODE – Falling On Deaf Ears

FOL, GOL, FOS – Fat Old Lady, Gone off Legs, Full Of S**t. Confused elderly female, unable to exercise at home, now unable to move unaided and badly constipated as a result (see also Toxic Confusional State).

FORD – Found On Road Dead

FOOBA – Found On Ortho Barely Alive (a play on FUBAR – F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition)

FOOSH – Fall Onto Outstretched Hand (as cause of broken wrist/arm)

FOS – Full Of Sh*t (either severely constipated or metaphorically)

FOS – Found On Street: unidentified dead homeless person

FPO – For practice only (FTD)

FPT – (Brazil) beyond help, do not resuscitate (“Fora de Possibilidade Terapêutica”).

Frequent Flyer – Someone who is transported to and from hospital on a routine basis (also someone who spends more time at the local hospital then most employees and is known by all staff members including Environmental Services)

Freud Squad – psychiatrists

Friday construction – Anatomical equivalent of the cars made on Fridays, when the workers mind was more on the weekend than the job in hand

Fruit Salad – group of stroke patients, all unable to take care of themselves

FTD – Fixing To Die

FTF – Failed to Fly (botched suicide)

Full Moon – full or overcrowded waiting room/A&E/ER

Garden – neurosurgical intensive care ward, so called because of the “vegetables” found there.

Gardening – attending to patients in neurological intensive care.

Gassers OR Gas Passers – anaesthetists

Gatekeeper – General practice doctor whose role is to keep costs low by only allowing a certain number of patients to go to specialists

GDA – Gonna die anyway

Genital hurties – genital herpes

Geosphere – Dirt Ball (Geo = dirt + sphere = ball)

GI Rounds – a meal (GI = gastrointestinal)

GLF – Ground Level Fall (tripped over)

GLM – Good Looking Mum

GOA – Gone On Arrival (police turn up, ambulance turns up, fire brigade turns up, patient doesn’t)

Goat Rodeo – Emergency scene which goes badly (resembles a bunch of people riding or wrestling goats)

God’s Waiting Room – intensive care unit and/or geriatric unit

GOK – God Only Knows

Goldbrick – patient who demands more attention than their (minor) condition warrants.

Golden ass – affluent mother who treats the obstetrics nurses like servants

GOMER – Get Out of My Emergency Room; extended to mean elderly patient who is unable to communicate their symptoms and passed from one department to another

Gomergram – Ordering all available tests because the person is unable to explain what is wrong with them

Gone Camping – patient in oxygen tent

Goober – nutter

Gorillacillin – very powerful antibiotic

Gork – comatose or brain dead

Gorked Out – mental impairment through disease or substance abuse

Go to Ground – fall out of bed or chair

GPH – Goddamns Per Hour

GPO – Good for Parts Only (won’t survive)

GRAFOB – Grim Reaper At Foot Of Bed

GRAHOB – Grim Reaper At Head Of Bed

Granny Dumping – dumping elderly relative in A&E; often happens just before Christmas or family holiday aka the hospital granny-sitting service

Granny Farm – old persons’ residential home, run by a Granny Farmer

Grape Sign – grapes at a bedside, denotes patient has a supportive family and might be candidate for early discharge

Grapes – haemorrhoids

Gravity Assisted Concrete Poisoning – jumped/fell from height

GROLIES – (UK) Guardian Reader Of Low Intellect In Ethnic Skirt

GTO – Gomer tip over (elderly person with injury from trip or fall)

GTTL – Gone to the light (died)

Guessing tubes – stethoscope

Gun and Rifle Club – Trauma ward full of gunshot and stabbing victims

HAIRY PSALMS – Haven’t Any Idea Regarding Your Patient, Send A Lot More Serum

Hallucinoma – a mass seen on a scan or x-ray that wasn’t really there

HALS – Hit And Left Standing (apparently uninjured but in shock after RTA/MVA)

Hamburger (Helper) – Train or juggernaut vs pedestrian

Hammer – local anesthetic

Hammered – to get numerous admissions while on call

Handbag positive – confused patient (usually elderly lady) lying on hospital bed clutching handbag

Happy feet – (US) patient having a grand mal epileptic seizure (in UK, Happy feet means smelly feet (feet which “hum” [stink])

Head – a brain-injury patient. Usage – “I’ve got a head I’ve got to deal with.”

Head Bonk – an otherwise uninjured patient who was struck on the head and presented at A&E just to be sure

Head whack – head injury

Healthy Goober – dead tumour patient.

Hearts and Farts – unit specialising in geriatrics and cardiology

Hey Docs (or Haydock) – alcoholics handcuffed to wheelchairs in big-city medical wards who chorus “Hey, Doc! when they see a white coat” (sometimes disguised as “Haydock” which is a UK placename)

Hepatology Conference – doctors meeting at a pub or bar (no late appointments, I’m going to a hepatology conference)

Hi 5 – HIV positive (“V” being Roman for 5)

HIBGIA – Had it before, got it again

High Serum Porcelain Level – Patient is a crock of sh*t

Hippo – Hypochondriac or depressive

Hit and Run – the act of operating quickly so as not to be late for another engagement (often a non-medical appointment).

HIVI – Husband Is Village Idiot

HMF – Hysterical Mother Figure

HMO – From phrase, “Hey, Moe!”, a concept pioneered by Dr Moe Howard, who discovered that a patient could be made to forget about the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough elsewhere. Modern “pokes” with same outcome include estimates for private treatment.

HOPEFUL – Hard-up Old Person Expecting Full Useful Life (i.e. OAPs are not priority for most hospitals)

Hole-in-One – A gunshot wound through the mouth or rectum.

Horrendoplasty – difficult operation for 12 hours on a patient with a BMI of 45

Hospital Hobo Syndrome – person who visits multiple hospitals seeking attention or accommodation

Hospitalismo – (Brazil) Revolving-door patient (in-and-out-and-in ….).

Hospital pilantrópico (Brazilo) – (sarcasm) dubiously charitable hospital where profits outweigh philanthropy.

House red – blood

HTD – Higher Than a Duck

HTK – Higher Than a Kite

HTT(A) – Hot Tots and Twats (Area): Paediatrics & Ob/Gyn wing of hospital

HVLT – High Velocity Lead Poisoning: gunshot wound

Hypoxanaxemia – patient with anxiety symptoms (Xanax deficiency)

Icing on the Cake – lethal tumor discovered in the X-rays of a heart attack victim.

Improving His Claim – Victim of minor accident, needs no treatment but wants something to support his insurance/legal claim.

Inbreds – doctors whose parents are also doctors

Incarcaphobia – patient is hypochondriac prisoner who prefers hospital to jail cell

Incarceritis – becoming dubiously ill when arrested or in court

Incidentaloma – a usually benign mass (needing removal) found on a scan while looking for something else entirely

Insurance Pain – Neck pain secondary to a minor car bump

Insurance Whiplash – Neck pain secondary to a minor car bump

International House of Pancakes – neurology ward full of patients (usually stroke victims) all babbling in a different language.

Intubate Junior/Intubate Willy – catheterise a man (often results in DPS – Disappearing Penis Syndrome)

ISQ – In Status Quo (“no change”): often used during the weekend surgical round

ITBNTL – In The Box, Nail The Lid (dead or dying)

JAFFA – Just Another Fat, F***ing Administrator

Jailitis – becoming dubiously ill while in custody or in a jail cell JLD – Just Like Dad (often used to explain an FLK)

John Thomas sign (UK) – according to tradition, the side that the penis points to (if visible on x-ray) will have an abnormality (see also Throckmorton sign).

Journal of Anecdotal Medicine – favourite, but unwritten, source of medical wisdom

J P FROG – Just Plain F***ing Ran Out Of Gas (old age etc)

JPS – Just Plain Stupid (self induced injury involving lack of common sense)

Kidney Stone Squirm – a spot diagnosis in A&E

KFO – Knock the F*cker Out (patient either obnoxious or screaming in pain)

Knife-happy – an overly enthusiastic surgeon

Knife and Gun Club – (US) local street gangs or criminal organizations that keep ER in business

Knuckledragger – Orthopedic Doctor/Surgeon

Larry – Locum, as in “doing a Larry”

Last Flea To Jump Off A Dead Dog – Oncologists (sometimes other disciplines) who seem unable to let people die with diginity

LDF – Lying Down Fit

Leeches – those who take blood samples, e.g. lab techs

LFTWM – Looking for 3 Wise Men (applied to young pregnant females who deny having had intercourse)

LGFD – looks good from door (but not closely examined, possibly an obnoxious patient)

LGFTC – looks good from the corridor (but not closely examined)

Lignocephalic – wooden-headed (i.e. dense [thick] or stubborn)

Liver rounds – staff party, so called because of liver-damaging alcohol

LMC – Low marble count (low IQ)

LOBNH – Lights On But Nobody Home

LOFD – Looks Okay From Door

LOL – Little Old Lady

LOLFDGB – Little Old Lady, Fall Down, Go Boom

LOLINAD – Little Old Lady In No Acute Distress

LOLITS – US: Little Old Lady In Tennis Shoes (60+ year old); UK: Little Old Lady In Twin-Set (50-60 yera old)

Loop-the-loop – flamboyant surgical rearrangement of the intestines.

Loose Change – dangling limb in need of amputation.

LPT – Low pain threshold

LRO – Luck Ran Out (cheated death before, but not this time)

LWS – (US) Low Wallet Syndrome (No medical insurance or money)

M sign – Patient just goes “Mmmm”

Map of Antarctica – (NZ) appearance of fatal spontaneous brain haemorrhage on CT scan

MARPs – Mind Altering Recreational Pharmaceuticals

Marriageable Monster – young female patient who has successfully undergone major plastic surgery.

Matern-a-taxi – when a pregnant woman calls an ambulance because the contractions are every 2 minutes, but she doesn’t have a single contraction during a 30 minute journey to hospital

MCBP – Member of the College of Bystander Physicians i.e. doctor having a look-see

Meat hooks – surgical instruments.

Metabolic clinic – the tea room

MFD, CFD – Measure For Box, Call For Dirt (severely ill [or dead or nearly so])

MFI – very large myocardial infarction

MGM syndrome – Faker putting on a real good show

Michelin’s Disease/Disorder – multiple spare tyres (obese)

MICO – Masterly Inactivity and Catlike Observation

MICOS – Masterly inactivity, cat-like observation and steroids

Microdeckia – Micro = small, deck = deck of cards; patient playing with less that a full deck (low IQ)

MIDI – myocardial infarction during intercourse (heart attack during sex)

MILF – Mother I’d Like to F**k. US version of GLM who is also PHAT

Mobile Drip Stands – Fire Dept (often found at emergencies alongside paramedics)

Molar masher – dentist

Mononeuronis Asynapsis – thick (one neuron, not connected!)

MUH – Messed up heart

Mulambo – (Brazil) poor patients in public outpatient clinics (literally rag + beggar)

MU Pain – Made Up pain (especially for sick notes and insurance claims)

Mushroom syndrome – suffered by lowly medics who are kept in the dark and have crap piled on them

n=1 trial – polite term for experimenting on a patient

NAD – Not actually done

NARS – Not a rocket scientist (low IQ)

Negative Wallet Biopsy – (US) patient transferred to cheaper hospital because s/he has no insurance/funds

NETMA – Nobody Ever Tells Me Anything (generally a doctor’s gripe on a patient’s chart)

Neuro-faecal Syndrome – s**t for brains

NFF – Normal Fae Fife (Scottish version of NFN below)

NFN – Normal for Norfolk (rural area, suggests inbreeding or quaint rural oddness), might explain FLK

NGMI – Not Going to Make It

NKDA – Not known, didn’t ask

NLPR – No longer playing records (dying)

No Hopeamine – Dopamine

Not even in the ball game – confused, senile patient

NPS – New Parent Syndrome

NQR – Not Quite Right

NQRITH – Not Quite Right In the Head

NSA – Non-Standard Appearance (what a FLK grows into)

O sign – Patient unconscious with mouth open

OAP – Over-Anxious Patient

OB/GYN – actually means Obstetric/Gynaecology, rumoured to mean “Oh Boy-Got You Naked”

OBE – Open Both Ends (known in UK as DNV – Diarrhoea and Vomiting)

OBECALP – placebo (the rationale being that patients don’t realise it’s “placebo” in reverse)

OBS – Obvious bullsh*t

Obs and gobs – obstetrics and gynaecology

OFIG – One Foot In the Grave

OFIGATOOS – One Foot In the Grave And The Other One Slipping

Ohno-second – The time from making an error (e.g. dropping that hard-to-get sample immediately after you got it) to going “oh-no”

Old Man’s Friend – (US) pneumonia, an illness which often carried off the elderly

Oil slick – (1991, NZ) – appearance on CT scan of a porencephalic cyst

Oligoneuronal – “few brain cells” i.e. thick (not very bright) (Note: In the UK, “dumb” means “mute”)

OMGWTFBBQ – a person mangled in a car crash

Ooh-Aahs – Those who gather to gawk at an emergency and go “Oooh, Aaah”

OPD – Obnoxious Personality Disorder

Organ recital – a hypochondriac’s medical history

Osteocephaly – boneheaded

Ostrich Treatment – pretend it’s not there and hope it goes away

OTD&DDR – Out The Door and Down The Road.

OTDPDS – Out The Door Pretty Damn Soon

P4P – Penicillin for Prick (peniecille for penile discharge)

PAFO – Pissed [Drunk] And Fell Over

Pale face – (Brazil) child with leukaemia/severe anaemia.

Paninvestigram – order all the tests; for when you haven’t got a clue what’s going on

Paperweight – (NZ) very small patient with severe congenital mental retardation

Papoterapia – (Brazil) to give the patient a pep talk, chitchat therapy (“papo” = chitchat).

Parentectomy – removing parents as an effective cure for a child’s problems

Pathology outpatients – Follow-up for dead people

Paws Up – dead

PBAB – Pine Box At Bedside

PBS – Pretty bad shape

PBOO – Pine Box On Order

Pecker Checker – either a urologist or a sexual diseases doctor (also the ship’s doctor in Naval slang)

Peek and Shriek – open a patient surgically, discover an incurable condition, and close the incision immediately

PEFYC – Pre Extricated For Your Convenience (RTA victim that has gone through windscreen)

Percussive maintenance – the sharp tap/bang which cures faulty equipment

Pest control – term applied to psychiatrists by casualty officers

PFH – Parent(s) from Hell (custodians of BFH – Brat From Hell)

PFO – Pissed [Drunk] and Fell Over

PGT – Pissed [Drunk] and Got Thumped

Pharmaceutically Enhanced Personality – stoned or medicated

PHAT – Pretty Hot and Tempting (warning to others)

PHD = Pakistani Healing Dance (a useless procedure performed for benefit of patient and family)

PIA – Pain in the ass

PAAF – Pissed as a fart (also PIAF -PIssed as A Fart)

PID – Pus In ‘Dere (PID actually means Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)

PID shuffle – apot diagnosis in A&E (Pelvic Inflammatroy Disease)

Pillow Therapy – describes the urge to smother annoying patient (aggressive euthanasia, tontine treatment).

PIMBA – (Brazil) swollen-footed, drunk, run-over beggar (“Pé Inchado Mulambo Bêbado Atropelado”)

Pinky Cheater – Latex finger cover used in gynecological and proctological examinations.

Pink puffer – patient breathing rapidly due to lung disease

Pit – the emergency room

PITA – Pain in the ass

Pitiático – (Brazil) patients feigning illness.

Plank Positive – stupid, as in “thick as 2 short planks”

Plano Paf̼ncio Р(Brazil) alleged preferential treatment of relatives of hospital employees.

Player – complaining, irritating patient

PLH – Pray Long and Hard

PLTDP – Practice Limited To Dead People

Plumbii Pendulosus – swinging the lead (malingering) anecdotally used on medical certificates to be presented in Court, esp in Magistrates’ Court where the Magistrate is known to the Doctor

Plumboscillation – swinging the lead (malingering)

Plumbum oscillans – Latin for “swinging the lead” (malingering) i.e seeking a sick note to take time off work

Pneumo-cephalic – airhead

PNR – person needed ride i.e. minor ailment but called ambulance instead of taxi

Podo-Oral – Foot in Mouth (i.e. put one’s foot in it – rarely used BY senior staff, sometimes used ABOUT them)

Policeman Lesion – lesion on an X-ray so obvious that a policeman would spot it

Poliesculhambado – (Brazil) multi-f*cked-up patient.

Polydipose Dysfunction – big, fat patient (polydipose being invented plural of adipose [fat])

Pop Drop – granny dumping (dumping elderly relative at Casualty dept)

POPTA – Passed Out Prior To Arrival

Porcelain Level – fictitious blood test ordered to communicate to colleague that the patient is malingering (crock of sh*t)

PORG – Person Of Restricted/Retarded Growth (dwarf/midget)

Positive Blue Legs Sign – (US) resuscitation behind closed curtains (US ER medics wear blue scrubs)

Positive Hilton Sign – demanding patient expects Hilton Hotel luxury; indicates patient well enough to leave!

Post-Weekend Fatigue Syndrome – an ailment which presents at GP surgeries on Monday mornings

Pot Plant – person in a Persistant Vegetative State (often used in plural to mean coma ward)

Pox Docs – clap clinic (sexually transmitted disease clinic) doctors

PPP – Piss poor protoplasm

PPPPP – piss poor protoplasm poorly put-together (really old and/or decrepit)

PPA – Practicing Professional Alcoholic

PRATFO – Patient Reassured And Told to F*** Off

Pre-Detention Stress Disorder – a person who feigns medical symptoms when police handcuff him

Pre-stiff – terminally comatose patient.

Psychoceramics – psycho-geriatrics

Psycode – Code Blue in a psychiatric hospital i.e. patient passing out from the side effects of medication

Pumpkin Positive – a penlight shone into the patient’s mouth/ear would encounter a brain so small that the whole head would light up

Purple (code purple) – when paramedics are called out to a dead body

Purple Plus – called out to collect a dead body that’s started to fester

PVC Challenge – To intubate someone.

PWT – Po’ (poor) White Trash (with a condition related to their lifestyle)

Q sign – Patient unconscious/terminal with mouth open and tongue hanging out; “Dotted Q” means flies land on tongue (dead/dying)

Quackpractor – chiropractor

Qwertyitis – what a doctor suffers from when he spends more time on a computer than with actual patients

QID – Queen in distress (hissy fit)

Q-Tip – Elderly person (white haired old person) (Q-Tip is a cotton bud)

Rabbit – over-talkative (from slang “Rabbit & Pork – talk)

Raisin Farm – old person’s home, geriatric ward etc (also Raisin Farmer – person who runs old persons’ home)

Ralphie McYakkers – young drunks vomiting

Rapid Lead Infusion – obnoxious patient ought to be shot

RBG – Received by God (a person in receipt of a Celestial Transfer)

RBS – Really Bad Shape

Rear Admiral – proctologist

Rear Admiralty – proctology dept

Rectoencephalitis – head-up-own-ar5e syndrome

Red dot – physicians from India, relates to red dot on their forehead

Red pipe – artery (as opposed to “blue pipe” or vein)

Reeker – smelly patient

Removal men – dept of care of elderly people

Retrospectoscope – instrument of hindsight

Rheumaholiday – rheumatology (considered by hard-pressed juniors to be a less busy dept)

Road Chilli – Unrestrained driver/motorcyclist or passenger, ejected and splattered

Road Map – injuries incurred by going through a car windshield face first.

Road Pizza – Unrestrained driver/motorcyclist or passenger, ejected and splattered

Roasted Goober – tumour after intensive cobalt treatment.

Rocket Room – a ward/unit where there are many deaths (many transfers to heaven)

Rocking horse stool – even rarer than hen’s teeth

Rooters – indigents and hangers-on who gather in big-city emergency rooms in order to be entertained by legitimate cases.

Rose cottage – mortuary

Rothman’s sign – tobacco staining of fingers

Rounding Up The Usual Suspects – Ordering a set of tests for a given set of symptoms

RPVU – Relative Porsche Value Unit: surgical index of potential income from the repair of patient injuries, usually orthopaedic in nature. Fractured finger = a windscreen wiper; a fractured hip = new tyres etc.

RT – Room Temperature (dead)

RTT with a BBB – Rat-a-Tat-Tat with a Baseball Bat (hit with blunt instrument).

Rudy Baga – Patient with terminal brain injury, persistent vegetative state (rutabaga is a vegetable).

Rule of Five – if more than five of the patient’s orifices are obscured by tubing, he has no chance

Saddles – Maternity sanitary towels (napkins), so called for their size and the bow-legged effect of wearing them

Samsonite Positive (Positive Samsonite Test) – someone who turns up in emergency with all their luggage (and insists on being admitted to a ward)

SAS – Sick As Sh*t

SBI – Something Bad Inside e.g. undiagnosed cancer/unexpected serious condition found when performing surgery

SBLEO – (pronounced S-B-Leo) Suicide By Law Enforcement Officer

SBOD – Stupid bitch/bastard on drugs

Scepticaemia – chronic condition suffered by two doctors in a debate over which therapy

Scratch and sniff – gynaecological examination

September club – the students who have to return after summer holidays for retakes

Serum porcelain – battery of blood tests on an elderly patient

Serum rhubarb – What they test for at tertiary centres

SFS – Stinky Foot Syndrome (often related to homeless)

SF Scale – Sphincter Factor Scale: 1 to 10 scale indicating degree of bowel-loosening in response to an emergency

SHA – Ship His Ass (when patients refuse to be discharged).

SHAD – Syphilitic, Hypochondriac, Alcoholic Degenerate

Shadow gazer – radiologist

Shandy Tap – bloodless lumbar puncture

Sh*ts & Spits – lab tech term for a patient’s stool and sputum samples; also the instruction to obtain these samples

Shotgun Labs – to order many lab tests, hoping one will turn up an answer to a puzzling case

SHS – Sullen, Hostile, Stupid (often an inner city drug/alcohol addict)

Short-Order Chefs – mortuary workers.

Shotgunning – Ordering of a vast array of tests in the hopes that one or other of them will give an idea of what is wrong with a patient

SHPOS – Sub-Human Piece of Sh*t

Sick – Really sick i.e. FTD (Fixing To Die) or CTD (Circling The Drain)

Sidewalk Souffle – (US) suicide-by-jumping

Sieve – a doctor who admits almost every patient he sees

SIG – Stroppy Ignorant Girl

SIG – (certain US regions) self-inflicted gerbil (anecdotal)

Silver Bracelet Award – patient is a prisoner brought in wearing cuffs

Silver Goose, Silver Stallion – proctoscope.

Síndrome JEC – (Brazil) terminal patient (“Jesus Está Chamando” = “Jesus is calling”).

SIO – Sleeping It Off

Slashers – general surgeons

Slough – a patient inappropriately or unfairly unloaded from one hosptial unit on another

Slow Code (to China) – elderly very ill patient who wants everything done so they will not die. Everyone on the medical team disagrees

Smashola – patient with multiple blunt trauma injuries e.g. from car smash

Smellybridge – area between the anus and the back of the scrotum (perineum)

Smiling Mighty Jesus – (US) spinal meningitis (also Screamin’ Mighty Jesus)

Smurf Sign – patient blue or going blue

Snow – to accidently give a patient too much medication/mixed medication so they go into an altered state of consciousness (“Don’t snow that patient with Drug X and Drug Y at the same time!)

Snowed – being in a state of altered consciousness due to too much/mixed medication

SNUD – Sick Nigh Unto Death

SOCMOB — Standing On Corner Minding Own Business (when inexplicably injured)

SODDI – Some Other Doctor Did It (when one medic’s botched jobs must be put right/answered for by someone else)

Sofa Surfer – homeless person who sleeps on friends’ sofas and floors (ends up at A&E for “3 hots and a cot” when s/he has nowhere else to stay)

Soft Admission – an admission that only a “Sieve” would accept

Solomf yoyo – So long, mother-f*****, you’re on your own (see “amyoyo syndrome”)

SPAK – Status Post Ass Kicking

Speed bumps – haemorrhoids

Spots and dots – traditional set of childhood diseases – measles, mumps, and chicken pox

Squash – brain.

Squirrel – eccentric or hypochodriac (“squirrelly”) patient who can make life difficult. Found in the phrase “squirrels get sick too” to remind staff that even eccentric patients may have a real medical problem

SRI – Something Wrong Inside (undiagnosable problem)

SSDD – Same Sh*t Different Day (in conjunction with Frequent Flyer)

Stage Mother – person accompanying patient and encouraging patient to exaggerate the complaint (often to obtain a particular diagnosis or to get an unnecessary prescription)

Stamp – skin graft

Status Hispanicus – (US) much like Acute Puerto Rican Syndrome.

St Elsewhere – medical academia’s term for any non-teaching hospital

Stream team – urology dept

Stupidity Panel – lab test (for patient stupidity) that, when invented, will earns its inventor a fortune (i.e. thick patient)

Sturgeon – surgeon

Summer Teeth – some are teeth and some aren’t …

Supratentorial – above the falx tentorium/cerebellum i.e. psychosomatic e.g. supratentorial pain

SVRI – Something Very Wrong Inside (usually terminal)

SWAG – Scientific Wild Ass Guess

SWI – Something Wrong Inside

SWW – Sick, wet and whiny (infant)

SYB – Save Your Breath (for patients who don’t take advice)

Tachylordyosis (with the junctional Jesus) – Usually a middle-aged to older black female American with a complaint of “lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy”, occasionally with the interspersed “Jesus” i.e. “lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy, Jesus help me, lordy, lordy”

Tachylawdia – as above (variant spelling), but without the “Jesus”

Tash Test – observation suggestive of HIV status (presence of a Freddie Mercury-esque moustache)

TATT (or TAT) – Talks All The Time (also “Tired All The Time”)

Tattoo Titre – indication of patient insanity: more than 5 tattoos indicates likely crazy person

T&T Sign – Tattoo-to-Teeth Sign: survival indicator; those who are tattooed and toothless will survive major injuries

Taint Spot – Perineum: “It ain’t this and it ain’t that”

Taxidermy Consult – call for a taxidermist’s consultation i.e. person about to die

Tax-Sucker – Someone who does not need an ambulance, but calls anyway because it’s free

TBP – Total body pain

TBC – Total Body Crunch: multiple injuries

TDS – Terminal deceleration syndrome (e.g. RTA death, high-rise syndrome, jump-suicides and parachute-failed-to-open)

TEC – Transfer to Eternal Care i.e. dead

TEETH – Tried Everything Else, Try Homeopathy

TF BUNDY – Totally f*cked, but unfortunately not dead yet

TFO – Too F*cking Old (person dying of old age).

TFTB – Too Fat To Breathe

THC – Three hots and a cot; sought in A&E by the local homeless

Therapeutic Monitoring – monitoring a patient purely because it makes the doctor feel better.

Thorazine shuffle – the slow, lumbering gait of psychiatric patients dosed up on phenothiazines

Three-toed sloth – patient with diminished capacities, usually from long-term alcoholism

Throckmorton’s Sign – in the unconscious male, the penis points to the injury

TLC – Tube, Lavage & Charcoal (given to poisoning victim)

TMB – Too Many Birthdays: person dying of “old age”

TMI – Three Meaningless Initials (e.g. John Smith, TMI – applied to medics with qualifications rather than ability)

Toaster – defibrillator

TOBP – Tired of Being Pregnant (especially patient demanding caesarian)

Tontine Treatment – Urge to put pillow over face of irritating patient (alludes to a type of will called a “tontine”)

Tooth to Tattoo Ratio – Visual determination of basic intelligence. A positive ratio (more teeth then tattoos) is generally better than a negative ratio is bad.

Torture Room – Intensive Care Unit (due to invasive tubes and monitors and experimental treatments).

Tough stick – patient whose veins are hard to find when drawing blood

Toxic Confusional State – Confused, usually elderly, person whose problem is due to constipation (toxic build up in body)

Train Wreck – a person with more hospital visits/diagnoses then they have years of life

Trambiclínica – (Brazil) a clinic staffed by medical students in order to maximise profits (“fraudulent clinic”).

Trans-occipital implants – bullet wound to the head

Trauma Gods – Mythological deities whom A&E personnel believe to be the cause of major emergencies

Trauma Handshake – digital rectal examination – every major trauma patient gets one

Treat ’n’ street – A&E’s term for quick patient turnaround

Trick cyclists – psychiatrists

Trigger Happy – a medic that gives a shot [injection] for everything or patient that used call button excessively.

TRO – Time ran out

Trubufu – (Brazil) African-Brazilian obstetric patient (literally “fat, ugly black woman”).

TSL – To Stupid to Live

TSS – Toxic Sock Syndrome (often related to homeless)

TTFO – Told To F*ck Off

TTR – (UK) Tea Time Review (a ripping yarn?)

TTOAST – Take Them Out and Shoot Them

TTR – (US) Tattoo-to-Tooth Ratio (Dirtbag Ratio)

TUBE – Totally Unnecessary Breast Examination (might happen to a GLM)

Turf – get rid of patient by referring to another team (see also buffing, sloughing and bouncing)

Turn and Baste – incontinence care (roll and clean up patient after a code brown)

TWA – third world assassins. Slang for the allegedly poor medical care delivered by physicians who went to medical school in foreign countries

Twitch – hypochondriac

Two Dudes – a patient who was in a fight “Two dudes jumped me for no reason” (implying the patient would have one against one assailant)

Two Stops Short of West Ham – (Psychiatry) Barking mad. Barking is slang for “mad” and also the name of a station; it is 4 stops from West Ham, but the psych slang follows the formula “2 sandwiches short of a picnic”, “Tuppence short of a shilling” (simple-minded/nuts) – the deficit is alway 2 items. Severe madness is “Dagenham” i.e. “3 stops beyond Barking”.

TWSAM – Trash Will Survive And Multiply

UBI – Unexplained Beer Injury

UDI – Unidentified Drinking Injury

UFO – Unidentified Frozen Object: unidentified dead homeless person in the winter

Unclear medicine – nuclear medicine

UNIVAC – Unusually Nasty Infection, Vultures are Circling

UPF – Un-Passed Fart (gaseous distended abdomen)

Urban Outdoorsman – Homeless person

VAC – Vultures are Circling (dying)

Vampires – those who take blood samples, e.g. lab techs (also slang for blood donor service)

VD – Veak and Dizzy; older person feeling vaguely unwell and presents at ER at 2am complaining of feeling “weak and dizzy”

Vedgy – a patient requiring intensive care, incapable of movement

Vegetable garden – Coma ward

Velcro – Family or friends accompanying patient everywhere

Very Close Veins – varicose veins

Viaggravation – what a doctor gets from a patient who is demanding erectile dysfunction medication on the NHS (not all areas of the UK provide this on NHS)

VBT – Very Bad Thing

VOMIT – Victim Of Modern Imaging Technology (i.e. try treating the patient, not the report from radiology; particularly referring to invasive procedures for false positives.

VIP – Very intoxicated person

Virgin Abdomen – patient that has never had abdominal surgery before and therefore has little intra-abdominal scarring

Vitamin V – Diazepam

Vitamin H – Haldol

Vitamin P – Lasix (diuretic) given to stimulate urination (peeing) in post-operative patients

VTMK – Voice To Melt Knickers (the voice deliberately cultivated by some doctors)

WADAO – Weak And Dizzy All Over

WAFTAM – (“woff-tam”): Waste Of F***Ing Time And Money

Wall – a doctor who resists admitting patients at all costs

Wallet Biopsy – (US) free medical test performed by hospital insurance department before patient is treated (UK) similar test in private health sector

ward X – the morgue

Weed Puller – Obstetrician

White Mice – tampons

Wig picker – therapist or psychologist

Win the Game – to discharge all of the patients from your service, so that you have no inpatients (i.e. no ward rounds) next day.

witch doctor – specialist in internal medicine

WoGS – Wrath of God Syndrome (visited upon junior medics by more senior staff)

Woolly jumper – any non-acute physician

WNL – (Ambulance/casualty) Within Normal Limits, but more often interpreted as We Never Looked

WNL – Will Not Listen; patient won’t take medical advice

Woolworth’s Test – (UK anaesthesia) if you can imagine patient shopping in Woolies, it’s safe to give a general anaesthetic

WWI – Walking while intoxicated (and fell over)

Wrinkly – geriatric

YAVIS – Young, attractive, verbal, intelligent, successful.

YMRASU – Your Medical Records Are Screwed Up

YOYO – You’re on your own; see “amyoyo” and “solomf yoyo” (also message passed from one doctor to another regarding problem/mystifying cases)

Zebra – an unusually strange or unexpected disease (from the saying “When you hear hoofbeats, the smart money is on horses, not zebras”)

Zorro belly – (Brazil) patient who has had multiple abdominal surgeries.

Note: Any dept ending in “-ology” is likely to be nicknamed “-holiday” by those working in busier depts.


As used in microbiology depts runs from “Hard as Bullets” (self-explanatory) to “Could go through the Eye of a Needle” (watery, no solids) with appropriate analogies inbetween.


Agroceryosis – lack of groceries i.e. owner hasn’t been feeding the animal

BDLDLDL big dog, little dog, little dog lost (usually Chihuahuas that try to fight a German Shepherd)

BSBF buy small bags of food (almost dead)

CFT – chronic food toxicity i.e. obese

CSTO – Cat Smarter Than Owner

DIC – dead in cage or death is coming (technically, it means Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, which is just as lethal)

DSTO – Dog Smarter Than Owner

HBC – hit by car

PU – paws up (dead)

SBI – something bad inside (undiagnosed cancer etc discovered during surgery)


In the days when patients had no access to their own medical records, some slang recorded uncomplimentary or non-technical observations about them. It is also a way of insulting (humourously or seriously) other staff or depts. Some slang provides a vocabulary where none previously existed or is simply an informal short form. In hospitals, morbid humour, irreverence and euphemism is a way of coping with daily exposure to injury, disease and death. As euphemisms go, “Eternal Care Unit” (died) is little different from the myriad other euphemism for death. Even in the path labs where I did a stint, staff coped with serious situations by seeking refuge in humour. Nowadays, such slang is considered unethical and its use is decreasing in hospitals and surgeries because of the dangers of being sued by patients. However it is being preserved in the medical labs and staff tea rooms where patients do not go! As more and more genuine abbreviations and acronyms come into existence, there is also the danger of being misunderstood.

Many thanks to all the doctors, nurses, medical staff, non-medical hospital staff and other insiders who have emailed their contributions. Some have been personally collected during my stints working in hospital labs. Some of these terms have been in annual reviews of medical slang written by Dr Adam Fox (who has charted the prevalence and decline of medical slang over the last several years) and printed in medical and nursing journals, in newspapers and featured by BBC News. Others have been popularised on TV dramas/series set in hospitals e.g. Casualty, Holby City and ER.

Note – the comments above are the from the original poster’s site.

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