OT: A "curbside"consult?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat May 17 23:38:46 UTC 2008

I am, of course, reminded of the old joke:

When a doctor was introduced to a lawyer at a cocktail party, he said
to the doctor, "You know, often when people at parties hear I'm a
doctor, they tell me their symptoms and ask for my comments.  I find
this very annoying, their trying to obtain a professional opinion at
a social occasion.  What do you do when you're asked for your
professional opinion at such times?"

The lawyer replied, "I give them my opinion, and send them a bill in
the morning."

The doctor was pleased to hear this solution, and thanked the lawyer.

When he looked at his mail the next morning, there was a bill from the lawyer.


At 5/17/2008 07:01 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>In the hospital, I heard a sentence with "... curbside a specialist ...". It
>means, I was told, to "ask an informal question, not making an official
>consult" (w/ initial stress).
>9 googits for "curbside him", most of them gibberish as shown by the
>snippets. I clicked on one of them and the site tried to force me to
>download alleged "antivirus software". (You can bet I killed the browser
>session.) But this one looks genuine:
>I took to the opportunity to (literally) curbside him and he assured me that
>my strategy to resume my normal pace was a good one as my normal stride was
>17 googits  for "curbside them". Again, much gibberish, but several real
>ones in hospital contexts, including:
>The physicians who work at our hospital enjoy teaching, they encourage us to
>ask questions and curbside them (even when they know they will not be
>consulted formally), and they always stop to take advantage of "the teaching
>I have no hesitation to ask any faculty a question at any time. If I need a
>subspecialists opinion I can curbside them by paging them or I can refer
>them without hesitation.
>[plus others from www.scutwork.com]
>UrbanDictionary, which I tried first, has the verb but in a very different
>Ordering someone to place their mouth on a curb (usually at gun point) and
>then stomping on the center of their head, cracking their jaw and sometimes
>killing them.
>... although this could also lead to a hospital setting.
>Mark Mandel
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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