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

Jonathon Green slang at BLUEYONDER.CO.UK
Sun Jul 22 15:15:47 UTC 2001

Many thanks to Doug Wilson for the medical expertise.

These are my current cites:

1972 National Lampoon July 76 Gomer. A senile, messy or highly unpleasant

1978 Journal of Amer. Folklore 91 570-3 What precisely is a gomer? He is
typically an older man who is both dirty and debilitated. He has extremely
poor personal hygiene and he is often a chronic alcoholic.[...] It is
difficult to determine just how long 'gomer' has been a part of American
hospital folklore. One report took it back to at least 1964 when it was used
by medical students at the University of Washington in Seattle. Several
informants thought they remembered it being used in the 1950s

1978 Samuel Shem The House of God (1983) 38 If I'm not mistaken, it's from
one Ina Goober, whom I admitted six times last year. A gomer, or rather, the
feminine, gomere

1980 NY Times Magazine 9 Nov. 16 A gomer [...] is a patient [...] who is
whining and otherwise undesirable

1987 Discover Nov. 30 Hospitals have a reputation for [...] crude jargon:
the difficult patients labeled gomers (Get Out of My Emergency Room)

The last of which does opt for the acronym - albeit perhaps erroneously.

I fear the DoJ has long gone to the great remainder shop in the sky. might be of use? I also realised, on perusing Barry
Popik's mini-bibliography, and checking my own copies of the journal, that I
found my lists in MAL rather than American Speech.

Jonathon Green

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