Air Force Language (1962); Medical Slang (1994)
Douglas G. Wilson
douglas at NB.NET
Thu Jul 26 02:21:59 UTC 2001
From James Landau:
>as for "Gomer", isn't anybody on this list familiar with the 1960's TV
>show "Gomer Pyle"?
Yes, and this character appeared earlier in "The Andy Griffith Show", 1963
This character's name is the "best guess" for the origin of "gomer",
according to RHHDAS, and I can't improve on this with any confidence.
The lore of the medical gomer is presented very well by V. George and A.
Dundes, "Journal of American Folklore" 91:568-81 (1978): "The Gomer: A
Figure of American Hospital Folk Speech".
However, I wonder: why did Gomer Pyle receive the name Gomer in the first
place? Gomer is a biblical name (e.g., Genesis 10:2) and it is also an
English and/or Welsh family name, and it was used as a given name before
Gomer Pyle. Perhaps it was regarded as a name suitable for a bumpkin long
before the TV character appeared, and perhaps this is why it was chosen for
-- Doug Wilson
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