Humorous disease names

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Jun 4 21:02:49 UTC 2008

On Jun 4, 2008, at 1:39 PM, Jim Parish wrote:

> Gerald Cohen wrote:
>> I had a friend in high school (1954-1958)  and college (1958ff.) who
>> when asked what was wrong with, say, someone we knew who was sick,
>> would humorously respond: "Complications of the zorch." He was the
>> only person I ever heard use the term "zorch", and it was only in
>> this
>> context.  We both understood it as a nonexistent internal organ.
> I recall a reference to "slitting someone from guzzle to zorch" in
> one of
> Piers Anthony's Xanth novels.

you might be sort-of-remembering the threat of the Cold Duke of Coffin
Castle in James Thurber's The 13 Clocks (1957):

"And if I fail?" asked Zorn.

The Duke removed his sword from the sword-cane and ran his glove along
the blade. "I'll slit you from your guggle to your zatch, and feed you
to the Todal."

[disgusting description of the Todal follows]


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