Sunday, May 29, 2005

Tricks of the Trade + Medical Slang

1. "Tricks of the Trade"
"For every occupation, there is a catalog of secrets only its employees are
 aware of - such as how waiters with heavy platters know to look straight
 ahead, and never down. Armed with a bag of reader mail, Matthew Baldwin
 unfurls a whole lot more true insider knowledge"

* Butcher: In Australia, the butchers have a secret language called
  'rechtub klat' that they use to gossip about customers without getting
* Nurse: Patients will occasionally pretend to be unconscious. A surefire
  way to find them out is to pick up their hand, hold it above their face,
  and let go. If they smack themselves, they're most likely unconscious;
  if not, they're faking"

A blog inspired by the article, which collects "tricks of the trade":

2. "Doctor, doctor, I'm pumpkin positive"  [expired link]
"These and other terms are part of a secret language, indecipherable to
 outsiders, that doctors use with each other to convey a truth that is
 otherwise unsayable, especially to the patient"

* "General practitioners may use LOBNH ('Lights On But Nobody Home') or
   the impressively bogus Oligoneuronal to mean someone who is thick"
* "Then there is DBI, for 'Dirtbag Index.' This is a formula which
   multiplies the number of tattoos on the patient's body by the number
   of missing teeth to estimate the total of days he has gone without a
* "If a doctor is stumped for what is wrong with his or her patient, they
   may record GOK, for 'God Only Knows'"

Archived at:

"Medical slang"
The paper referred to in the article.