Heard on The Doctors: "biopsy a wallet"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 21 01:59:19 UTC 2013

Here is another quasi-medical term I have heard in the same general family:

[Begin excerpt]
A portmanteau for an expensive (‘wallet’) elective procedure, often
some form of removal (‘ -ectomy’), performed in the UK in the private
[End excerpt]

Segen's Medical Dictionary. 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

On Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Heard on The Doctors: "biopsy a wallet"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> "I'm not going to _biopsy a_ patient's _wallet_ before I treat him."
> Not in Google or UD, but "wallet biopsy" gets 252 Ghits and UD has the
> relevant definition from June 21, 2009:
> A _wallet biopsy_ involves an inquiry similar to that of the regular biopsy ...
> except that, in the _wallet biopsy_, the goal is to determine the ability
> of the patient to pay for the medical care which the doctor might
> recommend. The results of the wallet biopsy will reveal the nature and
> extent of the patient's health insurance coverage and/or the extent of the
> patient's personal wealth so that the doctor will know whether or not the
> patient can afford to pay for the procedure.
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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