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The EMS Provider’s Guide to Southern Medical Terminology. Bryan E. Bledsoe, DO, FACEP Midlothian, Texas. Southern Medical Terminology. Southern Medical Terminology. “You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.” - Robert Frost.

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the ems provider s guide to southern medical terminology

The EMS Provider’s Guide to Southern Medical Terminology

Bryan E. Bledsoe, DO, FACEP

Midlothian, Texas

southern medical terminology3
Southern Medical Terminology

“You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.”

- Robert Frost

southern medical terminology4
Southern Medical Terminology

“The educated Southerner has no use for an ‘r,’ except at the beginning of a word.”

- Mark Twain

southern medical terminology5
Southern Medical Terminology

Some things happen in the South that just don’t happen in other parts of the country.

southern medical terminology6
Southern Medical Terminology

It is really hard to determine where errant Southern Medical Terminology developed.

southern medical terminology7
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Factors include:
    • High illiteracy rates.
    • Southern language trends.
    • Influence of folk medicine and other belief systems.
    • Religion.
    • Influence of freed slaves and other ethnic groups.
southern medical terminology8
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Abbominable pain = abdominal pain
  • Acid in the blood = a summer rash due to eating too many tomatoes.
  • Actin’ drunk = vertigo
  • Arthuritis = meanest of those “itis” brothers.
  • Athletic seizure = epileptic seizure
  • Augres = violent, shaking chills
southern medical terminology9
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Bad = tendency. (“I’m bad to eat sweets.”)
  • Bad blood = positive syphilis serology.
  • Bate = abate. “The pain bates down.”
  • Bealed = gather matter, come to a head (often in reference to ear infections)
  • Bottom = perineum
southern medical terminology10
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Cadillacs = cataracts
  • Cascade = vomit; also referred to as:
    • Technicolor yawn
    • Yelling at the concrete
    • Hollerin’ for Ralph
    • Wantin’ a Buick
    • Drivin’ the porcelain bus
  • Chicken breath = “she can’t breathe”
  • Chicken Pops = chicken pox
southern medical terminology12
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Clabber = What happens to milk in the stomach. Felt to be significant when seen in vomitus.
  • Clogs = clots (“Dem blood clogs is comin’ down”)
  • Clutter Headache = cluster headache
  • Cold = any unexplained inflammation above the waist (“I got a cold in my shoulder”)
southern medical terminology13
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Courage = potency (also see “nature”)
  • Deathly sick = nauseated
  • Down there = delicate reference to the genitals
  • Drawin’ Spell = hyperventilation with carpopedal spasm.
  • Dropsy = heart failure
  • Evicted = addicted
southern medical terminology14
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Fester = to become infected
  • Fireballs of the Eucharist = fibroids of the uterus
  • Flustrated = Flustered and frustrated all in one.
  • Gape = Gasp (“He had to gape for his breath”)
southern medical terminology15
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Gaulded = Scalded appearance (usually refers to a groin rash)
  • Give out = completely exhausted
  • Goober = penis (often used with prefix “little”)
  • Goozle = throat
  • Goin’ Down = Getting weaker
southern medical terminology16
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Hard attack = heart attack (“He had a couple of hard attacks, but he’ll be OK”)
  • Hark = cough or clear throat
  • Hawk = cough or clear throat, often used with the terms:
    • Loogie
    • Lung Oysters
southern medical terminology18
Southern Medical Terminology
  • High blood = hypertension
  • High hernia = hiatal hernia
  • Hope = help (“That medicine didn’t hope me”)
  • Hunker = squat
  • Hurt = steady discomfort
  • Ill = angry, not sick
  • Infantigo = impetigo
southern medical terminology19
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Itch = scabies
  • Intestinal flu = gastroenteritis
  • Kernals = lymph nodes
  • Leaders = tendons
  • Light heart attack = angina
  • Light stroke = transient ischemic attack
  • Locked bowels = constipation
southern medical terminology20
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Low blood = anemia (“I got high blood and low blood too!”)
  • Matter = accumulated thick secretions
  • Mess = a lot
  • Mighty Internal Fart = myocardial infarction
  • Monthly = menses (“Damn that man, my monthly is late again.”)
southern medical terminology21
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Nature = potency
  • Nerves = any psychiatric disorder
  • Nervous bust-up = nervous breakdown
  • Node = was aware of
  • Null = diminish (“My pain nulled down”)
  • Numbin’ medicine = local anesthetic
  • Octagen = oxygen
southern medical terminology23
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Old Timers Disease = Alzheimer’s disease
  • Old timey flu = true influenza
  • Pain = sharp pain (“There ain’t no pain, just a dead hurt”)
  • Pass wind = flatulence
  • Perireptile risin’ = perirectal abscess
  • Peanut butter balls = phenobarbital
  • Prostrate = prostate
southern medical terminology25
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Persh to death = waste away
  • Piles = hemorrhoids
  • Pity party = feeling bad for self
  • Plumb = completely or truly
  • Poke = sack containing medication (also intercourse)
  • Pone = Smooth, rounded subcutaneous nodule
southern medical terminology26
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Privacies = genitalia
  • Proud = glad (“I’m proud I don’t have cancer”)
  • Regulate my bowels = give something for constipation or diarrhea
  • Rift = belch
  • Right = very (“I am right tired”)
  • Risin’ = small, inflammatory nodule
southern medical terminology27
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Roaches on my liver = cirrhosis of the liver
  • Root Drop = impotence
  • Seeds = testicles
  • Shy kidneys = can’t urinate while watched
  • Sick as hell anemia = sickle cell anemia
  • Sick rag = wet cloth to forehead
southern medical terminology28
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Skim = haziness (“There is a skim over my eyes”)
  • Smilin’ Mighty Jesus = spinal meningitis
  • Sprangles = paresthesias
  • Straddle = crotch
  • Stubborn = constipated
  • Swimmin’ = vertigo
southern medical terminology29
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Technical shot = tetanus shot
  • Terrify = annoy greatly
  • Thick blood = imaginary condition whereby the doctor gives blood thinners
  • Throwing up his toenails = impressive vomiting
  • Trots = diarrhea
  • Tylon = Tylenol
southern medical terminology30
Southern Medical Terminology
  • Vomick = vomit
  • Weak kidneys = incontinent
  • Weasles = measles
  • Wen = sebaceous cyst (usually on head)
  • Whelps = hives
  • Workin’ medicine = laxative
  • Worry = to bother
redneck trauma score35
Redneck Trauma Score

Chances of Survival:

0-5 points…………………….30%

5-12 points…………………..60%

Greater than 12 points……..95%

redneck trauma score36
Redneck Trauma Score

ETOH level:

100-299………..………………….2 pts

300 – more…..……………………4 pts

Injured while riding motorcycle:

with helmet……………………….1 pt

without helmet……………………2 pts

Arrives wearing biker shirt…………..1 pt

redneck trauma score37
Redneck Trauma Score

Patient coming from or going to jail...4 pts

Spouse in jail…………………………. 1 pt

Arrives via helicopter between 1:00-5:00 AM…………………………………… 1 pt

Known by at least 5 persons in ER… 1 pt

Tattoo….…1 point each (maximum 5 pts)

If homemade…………….……1 extra pt

redneck trauma score38
Redneck Trauma Score

Last bath more than 2 weeks ago…..1 pt

Forty pounds or more overweight……1 pt

“Bad Back” and must be lifted by staff for all x-rays…………………………….1 pt

Beard longer than 2 inches………….1 pt

redneck trauma score39
Redneck Trauma Score

Known seizure disorder secondary to previous closed head trauma, but doesn’t know the name of medications that he is not taking……………….. 2 pts

Routinely “vomicks” two or more times a week………………………………… 1 pt

Has two children with the same first name………………………………… 1 pt

redneck trauma score40
Redneck Trauma Score

Number of abortions – 1 point each (maximum of 3 points)

Number of previous episodes of PID or VD -1 point each (maximum of 3 points)

Previous suicide attempts…………..1 pt

Previously shot or stabbed………….2 pts

Allergic to Tylenol, Aspirin, Motrin, or Darvon…………………………….…1 pt

redneck trauma score41
Redneck Trauma Score

Allergic to Kwell……………………… 1 pt

Drinks more than 2 cases of beer per week………………………………… 1 pt

Smokes more than 2 cartons of cigarettes per week……………………………. 1 pt

Education less than 10th grade…….. 1 pt

Sells blood every other month……… 1 pt

redneck trauma score42
Redneck Trauma Score

On disability…………………………. 1 pt

Seeking disability…………………… 1 pt

Found at scene without shoes or socks and ambient temperature < 30 degrees…………………………….. 1 pt

Calls EMS personnel “ambulance drivers”……………………………… 2 pts

redneck trauma score43
Redneck Trauma Score

Found at scene with stool or urine in shoes………………………………. 1 pt

Found at scene with holes or excretions in underwear…………………………. 1 pt

Calls a male paramedic “a good looking bitch”………………………………... 1 pt

Patient or next of kin is named “Bubba”……………………………… 1 pt

medical humor
Medical Humor

“Laughter without a tinge of philosophy is but a sneeze of humor. Genuine humor is repeat with wisdom.”

- Mark Twain

medical humor46
Medical Humor

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

- Mark Twain

medical jargon
Medical Jargon
  • “That’s about as clear as the ostomy club swimming pool.”
  • “That ain’t right”
  • Testicles: they do dress a fellow up.
  • “Never let knowledge or reason substitute for dogma.”
  • “Never examine a child who is wearing cowboy boots.”
  • “Never trust a naked baby.”
medical jargon48
Medical Jargon
  • “All bleeding stops.”
  • “Don’t let the skin stand between you and the diagnosis.”
  • “The hurtin’ stops when the pain goes away.”
  • “When everything is going right, you’ve done something wrong.”
  • “The three most over rated things in the world: Mayo Clinic, the US Postal Service, and the Seattle Fire Department.”
medical jargon49
Medical Jargon
  • “Crimson Tide” = menstrual period
  • “Dropping the roses” = menstrual period
  • “Two Beers” = always the answer to, “How much did you have to drink?”
  • “Some Dude” = always the answer to “Who stabbed you?”
  • “He looks like a Baptist to me” = unconscious Jehovah’s Witness who needs an emergent transfusion
medical jargon50
Medical Jargon
  • “A hospital visitor in a three-piece suit carrying a brief case is a lawyer until proven otherwise.”
  • “A patient’s ability to survive illness or major trauma is inversely proportional to his value to society.”
  • “Why are we all here and what does this all mean?”
  • “It’s better to have a positive VDRL than to never have loved at all.”
medical jargon52
Medical Jargon
  • “Do not ridicule large people carrying weapons.”
  • “Car Bite” = automobile accident
  • “Crispy Critter” = burn patient
  • “Crunch” = automobile accident
  • “Pus Butt” = perirectal abscess
  • “Triage tragedy” = what happens when a ruptured AAA is triaged to OB as a term pregnancy.
medical jargon53
Medical Jargon
  • “Tachylordia” = lordy, lordy, lordy
  • “Tachylordia with a Junctional Jesus” = lordy, lordy, lordy, Jesus, lordy, lordy, lordy
  • “Trols ‘R Us” = emergency department
  • “Pit” = emergency department
  • Phi Lacka Tacka = fraternity of ED trolls
  • “Tar Baby Cases” = the more you try to get free, the more you get stuck.
medical jargon54
Medical Jargon
  • “Gomers are like yogurt, you can’t tell when they go bad”
  • “The amount of screaming and hollering is inversely proportional to the severity of the injury.”
  • “Gome” = diminutive of GOMER
  • “Gome from a home” = nursing home patient.
  • “Gome from a home in a come” = unconscious nursing home patient
medical jargon55
Medical Jargon
  • “GOMER Toter” = non-emergency ambulance
  • Signs of a dead GOMER:
      • more than 2 days worth of juice glasses still full at bedside
      • Temperature less than 90 degrees
  • Stool velocity = test ordered by interns when working up GOMERs with diarrhea
  • “No mother is ever satisfied with the amount or quality of food her child eats.”
medical jargon56
Medical Jargon
  • “In the “pit” (ED), if you don’t know what is wrong, keep putting in tubes until someone who does arrives.”
  • “Pone Belly” = acute surgical abdomen
  • “Aye Sign” = found in Latin OB patients where “oh, oh, oh” changes to “aye, aye, aye” when cervical dilation is complete.
  • Status hispanicus = aye, aye, aye
medical jargon58
Medical Jargon
  • “Shake and Bake” = MVC with trauma and burns
  • “Death is not always the enemy”
  • “Bug Juice” = antibiotics
  • “Gorrilacillin” = potent antibiotics
  • “Incision of the Blue Cross” = unnecessary surgical procedure
  • “If I had a uterus in me, I’d want them to take it out.”
medical jargon59
Medical Jargon
  • “If she doesn’t have appendicitis, then she should take down the sign.”
  • “If it takes more than 3 people to hold down a child for a spinal tap, he probably doesn’t need to have it done.”
  • “When in doubt, order the drug on your pen.”
  • “Idiopathic” = the doctor is an idiot, the patient is pathetic.
medical jargon60
Medical Jargon
  • “You don’t need to run a Chi Square test on common sense.”
  • “Anything not worth doing, is worth not doing well.”
  • “If two things can go wrong, the worst one will happen.”
  • “If good intentions are combined with stupidity, it is impossible to out think them.”
  • “Beware of the paramedic who is great at getting out of trouble.”
medical jargon61
Medical Jargon
  • “Ohms Law of Hospital Telephones” = the person who answers the phone can never help you.
  • “Smoking the White Owl” = intubated
  • Vagina = most powerful organ in the human body
  • “You’re not the one who is sick, they are; and it’s not your fault.”
  • “In aphasia, swear words go last.”
medical jargon62
Medical Jargon:
  • “20% of the patients have 80% of the diseases”
  • “Hemophiliacs are accident-prone.”
  • “Positive lipstick sign” = female patient’s condition improvement marked by sudden interest in appearance
  • “Doc in a Box” = urgent care center
  • “Air Conditioned” = multiple GSWs
medical jargon63
Medical Jargon
  • “Age/Weight Ratio” = when the age exceeds the weight, it’s going to get bad
  • “Urban outdoorsman” = homeless person
  • 1 tattoo = 1 drunken party

2 tattoos = 2 drunken parties

3 tattoos = 1 sociopath

medical jargon64
Medical Jargon
  • Motorcycles / Motorcycle Riders:
    • “ORTA” = orthopedic resident training apparatus
    • “Murder cycle jockey”
    • “Honda hero”
    • “Dead head”
    • “Kawasaki Kamikaze”
    • “Crotch rockets”
    • “Give your son a motorcycle for his last birthday.”
    • “Any motorcycle rider in an accident without a helmet is an organ donor until proven otherwise.”
medical jargon65
Medical Jargon
  • Psychiatric Patients:
    • “Walnut Storage Disease” = nutty patient
    • “Serum Porcelain Level” = blood test for crocks
    • “Spook” = a sick crock
    • “Ring Sign” = When a patient has more rings on a hand than fingers (usually requires a serum porcelain level)
    • Elevated serum succotash
    • Skewed bean/pea ratio
medical jargon66
Medical Jargon
  • Psychiatric Patients:
    • Terminal microdeckia = not playing with a full deck
    • “Elevator doesn’t go to the top floor”
    • “Toys in the attic.”
    • Serum peanut butter level
    • “That patient has only three neurons. One’s infected, one’s infarcted, and the other one is inhibitory.”
    • “Granola Ward”: psych ward; fruits, nuts, & flakes
medical jargon67
Medical Jargon
  • Obesity:
    • Chronic biscuit abuse
    • Cornbread poisoning
    • Land whale
    • Dunlops Disease
    • Sea World consult
    • “Scrub dorsal fin TID, routine blow hole care.”
medical jargon68
Medical Jargon
  • Hysterical Patient Scoring System (10 pts is diagnostic)
    • Golden slippers 3 pts
    • Calls Dr. by first name 3 pts
    • Seductive behavior 4 pts
    • Satin pillow from home 2 pts
    • Multiple drug allergies (1 point per drug)
    • La belle indifference 5 pts
medical jargon69
Medical Jargon
  • Sick patients:
    • “He may not have bought the farm, but he made a big down payment.”
    • “Don’t put anything on layaway.”
    • “He’ll have to get better to die.”
    • “Looks like death eating a cracker.”
    • “O Sign” = obtunded, mouth open
    • “Q Sign” = obtunded, mouth open, tongue sticking out
    • “Dotted Q Sign” = obtunded, mouth open, tongue sticking out, fly on tongue
medical jargon70
Medical Jargon
  • Dying patients:
    • “Hang the black crepe.”
    • “He’s got buzzards sitting on his shoulder.”
    • “Give them a bottle of whiskey and a short book to read.”
    • “He is about to receive a celestial discharge.”
    • “Subacute dead”
    • “Swarming Sisters Sign” = seen at Catholic hospitals
medical jargon71
Medical Jargon
  • Dying patients:
    • “Pillow Rounds Needed”
    • Stat Pathology Consult
    • “Circling the drain”
    • “A-line to wall suction”
    • “Got his skates on.”
    • “His porch lights are getting dim.”
abbreviations
Abbreviations
  • ADR = ain’t doing right
  • ADS due to TMB = acute dying spells due to too many birthdays
  • AGA = acute gravity attack
  • AGMI = ain’t gonna’ make it
  • ALS = advanced lizard slinging
  • AQR = ain’t quite right
  • ART = assuming room temperature
  • AVD = acute Vistaril deficiency
abbreviations74
Abbreviations
  • BLS = basic lifting service
  • BOHICA = bend over, here it comes again
  • BSS = bilateral Samsonite syndrome
  • CC = cancel Christmas
  • CCFCP = “coo coo for Cocoa Puffs”
  • CNS-QNS = central nervous system - quantity not sufficient
  • CPR = can’t possibly recover
  • CTS = crazier than sh**
abbreviations75
Abbreviations
  • D&C = dusting and cleaning
  • DFO = done fell out
  • DIB = dead in bed
  • DRT = dead right there
  • DVR = Darth Vader respirations
  • DWO = death warmed over
  • DWO = driving while oriental
  • EMD = early morning discovery (woke up dead)
abbreviations76
Abbreviations
  • FDGB = fall down, go boom
  • FIBD = found in bed dead
  • FLB = funny looking beat
  • FLK = funny looking kid
  • FLK-GLM = funny looking kid, great looking mom
  • FOF = found on floor
  • FOIC = fell out in church
  • FTD = fixin’ to die (call the florist)
  • FUAB = found under a bridge
abbreviations77
Abbreviations
  • FUAR = found under a rock
  • FUBAR = fu**ed up beyond all recognition
  • GOA = gone on arrival
  • GPH = God damns per hour
  • HGD X 3 = he’s gonna die, he’s gonna’ die, he’s gonna’ die
  • HMO = heave mom out
  • HVLT = high-velocity lead therapy
abbreviations78
Abbreviations
  • LMC = low marble count
  • LOL = little old lady
  • LOL-NAD = little old lady, no apparent distress
  • OLFDGB = old lady fall down, go boom
  • OTD = out the door
  • PBAB = pine box at bedside
  • PGS = positive grits sign
  • PID = pus in dere.
abbreviations79
Abbreviations
  • PID = pus** in distress
  • PPP = piss poor protoplasm
  • QID = queen in distress
  • SAS = sick as sh**
  • SSDD = same sh**, different day
  • SWAG = scientific wild-assed guess
  • SWI-GOK = something’s wrong inside, God only knows
  • SWW = sick, wet and whiney
abbreviations80
Abbreviations
  • TBC = total body crunch
  • TDS = terminal deceleration syndrome
  • TID = transient in distress
  • TMB = too many birthdays
  • TOBASH = take out back and shoot in head
  • TOBASH-GHF = take out back and shoot in head-give heparin first
abbreviations81
Abbreviations
  • TPW = therapeutic pistol whipping
  • TRO = time ran out
  • TSS = toxic socks syndrome
  • WADAO = weak and dizzy all over
  • WNL = we never looked
  • WWI = walking while intoxicated
  • YOYO = you’re on you’re own
medical specialties
Medical Specialties
  • Surgeons (AKA “blades”)
    • If a surgeon was asked to name the three greatest surgeons, he would be hard pressed to name the other two.
    • “Knife rhymes with life.”
    • “A chance to cut is a chance to cure.”
    • “Nothing heals like stainless steel.”
    • “A surgeon is an internist who can operate.”
medical specialties84
Medical Specialties
  • Surgeons (AKA “blades”)
    • “Internists can only shake the Christmas present, surgeons get to open it.”
    • “Cold steel is the best deal.”
medical specialties85
Medical Specialties
  • Emergency Physicians
    • “Are you an intern or a real doctor?”
    • “Is you the doctor what’s waitin’ on me?”
    • “We just lost the last patient. Who is next?”
medical specialties86
Medical Specialties
  • Internists (AKA “fleas”, “swamis”)
    • “Herb doctors”
    • “The primary function of the internist is to find cases for the surgeon.”
    • “He may have died—but at least his electrolytes were in balance.”
medical specialties87
Medical Specialties
  • Orthopedists (AKA “Orthopods”)
    • Orthopedic surgeon: twice as strong as an ox, half as smart.
    • Orthopedic surgeon: smarter than a rock, dumber than a plant
    • Double blind study = 2 orthopedists looking at an ECG
    • Orthopedists point = area near the xiphoid where placing a stethoscope will allow you to hear breath, heart, and bowel sounds.
medical specialties88
Medical Specialties
  • Orthopedists (AKA “orthopods”)
    • Orthopedic Law of the Heart = The purpose of the heart is to pump Ancef to the bones.
    • BBMF = standard orthopedic consent form, “bone broke, me fix”
    • Orthopedic ooze = when the blood pulsates through the plaster after the tourniquet is removed.
medical specialties89
Medical Specialties
  • Radiologists (AKA “electrons” or “rads”)
    • “Shadow merchants”
    • “Throckmorton’s Sign” = On x-rays, the penis points to the pathology.
    • ”Positive Radiology Sign” = arrows and circles drawn on x-rays
medical specialties90
Medical Specialties
  • Obstetrician/Gynecologists
    • Vaginicologists
    • Spreader of old wives tales
    • Tuna boat captains
    • Rule of the OB Clinic = love is blind; and it has no sense of smell
    • 2nd Rule of the OB Clinic = everybody loves somebody
medical specialties91
Medical Specialties
  • Pediatricians (AKA “pediapods”)
    • Midget medicine
    • “Give me a pediatrician with testicles, and I’ll kiss his feet.”
medical specialists
Medical Specialists
  • Dermatologists
    • “The monkeys that pick things off of the other monkeys.”
    • “A doctor who tells you in Latin what you told him in English.”
    • Axiom of Dermatology in the ED = if it is dry, wet it; if it is wet, dry it; if you don’t know, use steroids.
medical specialists93
Medical Specialists
  • Urologists (AKA “plumbers” or “prostatologists”)
    • The worst shriek you have ever heard = there is a urologist in the ED
    • “Priapism is better than no ‘ism’ at all”
medical specialists94
Medical Specialists
  • Proctologists (AKA Rear Admirals)
    • Super duper pooper snoopers
    • “Ride the silver rocket” = proctoscope exam.
    • “Dance with the black stallion” = colonoscope exam
    • Snake pit = endoscopy suite
medical specialists95
Medical Specialists
  • Neurosurgeons (AKA brain bone cutters)
    • “There are only two types of neurosurgical patients—those that live and those that die.
    • The Dressing = the only difference between the preop and postop neurosurgical patient.
    • Neuro ICU = vegetable garden