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

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Mon Jul 23 13:07:22 UTC 2001

Jeffrey William McKeough said:
>Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>>like doug wilson, i'm suspicious about the acronymic source for
>>GOMER.  i've known the term for over twenty years - learned it
>>from medical friends, including some e.r. specialists - but didn't
>>hear the acronym etymology until last year.  my doctor/nurse/
>>social worker/aide friends, when asked about the source of GOMER,
>>had no idea; that's just what they're called, i was told.
>In the first season of "St. Elsewhere" (which was recently rerun on
>Bravo), Howie Mandel's character (an ER doc) referred to GOMERs a
>couple of times.  I'm almost certain that he explained it to another
>character using the acronym.  That doesn't make the acronym etymology
>correct, but if I'm remembering it correctly, it would date it to at
>least 1982.

This matches my rather hazy recollection. I think that the term may also
have been used (and "explained") in early reviews of the show.

Alice Faber                                       tel. (203) 865-6163
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