[Ads-l] Pills, excrescent <-s> in nicknames addendum

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 9 19:34:23 UTC 2015


An old military and naval nickname, orig. applied to a surgeon or physician:

1835 _Military & Naval Mag. of the U.S._. (Jan.) 357: Pills, why don't you
buy more vegetables?

1845, in Oelschlaeger Reveille 62: The doctor was irreverently called "Old
Pills" by the students.

1847 Downey _Cruise of 'Portsmouth'_ 31: Pills slept on...quiet and
undisturbed.


Etc, etc.

"Pill-roller" was also common.

My OED link isn't working, so I don't know what they've got on the subject.

JL

On Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 2:27 AM, W Brewer <brewerwa at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Pills, excrescent <-s> in nicknames addendum
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> <Pills> nickname for aspiring pharmacist's mate on submarine USS Tigrone.
> Silent Service, season 1 episode 8, 6 May 1957, Tigrone Sets a Record, at
> 04.33.
> Slang term for his job title might have been <pill-roller>.
> Cf. Leonard H. <Bones> McCoy.
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYHL4DK_2-M
>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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