Air Force Language (1962); Medical Slang (1994)

Jonathon Green slang at BLUEYONDER.CO.UK
Sun Jul 22 12:57:04 UTC 2001

Ah. Having justified my exclusion of medical slang from the CDS on the
grounds of its 'jargon' status I now must admit to inconsistency. I think,
given the inclusion of 'gomer', I must have found it in a non-hospital
usage. (I was not noting citations for that book, hence the memory loss). As
to the def. being 'sanitised', I don't know. Not consciously so. For the
record the longer, two-part def. in my jargon dict. runs as follows:

GOMER acro. (medicine/US): Get Out Of My Emergency Room: 1. a notation on
the file of a patient (very often an elderly one) whose less than
immediately vital problems are witholding the possibility of offering real
medical aid to someone near death.
2. patients who are apparently too sick to stay at home but not so sick as
to die, requiring long-term care and keen to take every advantage of the
hospital and its staff.  (The female GOMER is a GOMERE).

The DoJ also notes inter much alia that a 'grume' (no ety.) is a 'notably
filthy gomer'; 'LOL in NAD' is Little Old Lady in No Apparent Distress: any
patients of either sex who enjoy the care and comforts found in a hospital,
but have no immediate or critical physical problems; a SHPOS is a 'sub-human
piece of shit; the most derogatory dismissal of a patient' and a 'toad' is a
'trashy old derelict', a ref. often, but by no means only used of a
hospitalised vagrant.

As far as I recall I found the majority of the medical jargon in a couple of
pieces in American Speech (in 1970s, I think) and in the glossary appended
to Samuel Shem's novel _The House of God_ (1978 UK paperback edn.).

Jonathon Green

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