Humorous disease names

James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jun 5 14:48:19 UTC 2008

My wife, who as far as I know has never read SF, uses zorch to mean basically the same as whatchamacallit, especially when referring to automotive problems of undiagnosed origin - "It's the zorch": crumulated munchilator is another favorite term.  She has done this for the near 40 years I have known her.  I heard her father, a machinist in the Navy in WWII and habile home-mechanic, use these terms, and I assume they went from father to daughter rather than vice versa.

James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
South SLC, UT                  |it is that we will be sued
jsmithjamessmith at     |whether we act quickly and decisively
                               |or slowly and cautiously.

--- On Wed, 6/4/08, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU> wrote:

> From: Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU>
> Subject: Re: Humorous disease names
> Date: Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 1:09 PM
> 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.
> Gerald Cohen
> ________________________________
> From: Mark Peters, Tue 6/3/2008 11:33 AM
> I'm looking for words like horrendoplasty: medical-ish
> words for real or imaginary conditions.
> <snip>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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