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HuwG BS: Medical and Biological Term Glossary ; ) (20) RE: BS: Medical and Biological Term Glossary ; ) 17 Apr 09

Original file downloaded from this site, no longer active:


These have been mostly collected from the UK and USA, with a few non-English contributions (many thanks to all contributors from around the globe). Some of the acronyms are region-specific and have differing meanings in US and UK. It is noticeable that the US has numerous acronyms and slang terms relating to gun-related incidents and injuries. The slang/acronyms are directed variously at patients, other medical staff or mystifying medical conditions. I haven't included the slang terms for all of the various medical equipment.

4F - Fair, fat, female and forty (abdominal pain patient who is candidate for gall bladder disease)
4H - (US) Haemophiliac, Hispanic, Homosexual, Heroin addict

Acute Lead Poisoning - Gunshot wound
(Acute Lead Poisoning) 185 grain Injection - 9mm gunshot wound
(Acute Lead Poisoning) 240 grain Injection 44 calibre magnum wound
(Acute Lead Poisoning) Air-conditioned - Multiple gun shot wounds

ADR - Ain't Doing Right
AFU & BR - all f***ed up & beyond repair
AGA - Acute Gravity Attack (fell over)
AGMI - Ain't Gonna Make It (won't survive)
AHF - Acute Hissy Fit
ALS - Absolute Loss of Sanity (nutcase)
Amyoyo syndrome - Alright motherf*****, you're on your own (seen in head injury patients in Intensive Care)
Angel lust - a male corpse with an erection (not uncommon)
APRS - (US) Acute Puerto Rican syndrome (bouts of screaming and yelling)
AQP - Assuming the Q Position: deteriorating or dying with tongue hanging out
AQR - Ain't Quite Right
ART - Assuming Room Temperature (dead)
Ash Cash - money for signing a cremation form
Ash Point - where you collect the Ash Cash
Assmosis - promotion by "kissing ass"
AST - Assuming Seasonal Temperature (dead)
ATFO - Asked To F*** Off

Babygram -x-raying (radiographing) a newborn
Bagged and Tagged (B&T) - Body ready for dispatch to morgue
Bash Cash: the money paid for completing accident (insurance) claim forms in A&E
BBCS - Bumps, Bruises, Cuts and Scrapes (i.e. no serious injuries)
Beached whale - obese patient unable to do much for him/herself except lie there with flailing arms and legs
Betty - a petient with diabetes
Blade - Surgeon: dashing, bold, arrogant and often wrong, but never in doubt
Blamestorming - apportioning of blame for mistakes, usually to any locum or lowliest medic in sight
Blood Suckers - those who take blood samples, e.g. lab techs
BMW - Bitch Moan & Whine
Bobbing for apples - unblocking a badly constipated patient with one's finger
BOHICA - Bend Over, Here It Comes Again
Boogie - a tumour
Bordeaux - bloodstained urine
Bottle return - removing a bottle lodged in the anal canal
Bounce - returning a turfed patient back to original dept (see also turf and buff)
Brown trout - a stool that won't float (as opposed to an air biscuit, which does)
BSS - Bilateral Samsonite Syndrome: patient admitted with both their bags packed in preparation
BTSOOM - Beats The Sh*t Out Of Me
Buff - re-hash the patient's story to make it sound more appropriate for the patient to be referred to another dept (see also turfing and bouncing)
Bugs in the rug - pubic lice
Bull in the ring - blockage in the large intestine
BUNDY - But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet
Bungee jumper - a patient who pulls on his catheter tube
Bunnies - Sanitary Towels (sanitary napkins)

Cabbage - heart bypass i.e. CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft)
Cephosplat - Domestos Antibiotic; Kills all known germs
Ceiling Sign - near-levitation from the bed to the ceiling induced by examining for abdominal tenderness
Celestial discharge - died
Celestial transfer - died (transferred to the Eternal Care Unit)
Champagne tap - bloodless lumbar tap
Chandelier's Sign - The result of any test or probing after which the patient must be removed from the chandelier
Chartomegaly - patient is so frequent s/he has a large (and growing) chart
Cheerioma - a patient with a highly aggressive, malignant tumour
CKS - cute kid syndrome
CLL - chronic Low Life
Code 0 - (Ambulance) Time-waster/tax-waster (genuine codes are Code 1 [non-serious] to Code 4 [emergency])
Code Brown - faecal incontinence emergency (e.g. of bedlinen)
Code Yellow - urinary incontinence emergency
Coffin Dodger - survived against expectations, or a very old person
Cold-tea sign - refers to the several cups of cold tea on the bedside cabinet beside a dead geriatric (i.e. no-one noticed the patient had died)
COPD - Chronic Old Persons Disease (unwell, no specific cause)
Crackerjack referral - (UK) It's Friday, it's five to five, it's... (Crackerjack was a popular TV show) i.e. Friday afternoon job
CRAFT - Can't Remember A F*cking Thing
Cranio-faecal Syndrome - s**thead or s**t for brains
CRI - Cranial-Rectal Insertion or Cranial-Rectal Inversion (head-up-ass syndrome)
Crinkly - geriatric
Crispy critter - severe burns case
Crumble (crumbly) - elderly patient
CRS - Can't Remember Sh*t
CRT - Can't Really Treat
CTD - Circling the Drain (Close To Death)
CTS - Crazier than sh*t

D&D - Divorced and Desperate (middle aged female who visits doctor weekly just for male attention)
DACB - (US) Drunk As Cooter Brown (UK equivalent is PIAF)
Dandruff on wheels - scabies or other transmissible flaky skin condition
DBI - Dirt Bag Index: number of tattoos x number of missing teeth = days since the patient last bathed
De-coke and Re-bore - Dilatation and curettage (gynae) op
Deep fry - cobalt therapy
Departure lounge - geriatric ward
Dermaholiday - nickname for dermatology dept used by staff in busier depts
DFO - (1) (US) Done Fell Out (anything from fainting to cardiac arrest)
DFO - (2) Drunk and Fell Over
DFO-SFJ - Done Fell Out - Screaming For Jesus
Digging for Worms - varicose vein surgery
DIIK - Darned if I know
Discharged downstairs - transferred to the morgue
DMFNFL - Dumb mother f*cker, not fit to live
Donorcycle - motorbike: the biggest cause of donated organs!
Double bind trial - Two orthopods looking at an electrocardiogram
Double Whopper with Cheese - Obese female with genital thrush
DPS - Dumb Parent Syndrome
DRT - Dead Right There (patient dead at scene of accident)
DRTTTT - Dead Right There, There, There and There (patient dead and in multiple parts at scene of accident)
DSB - Drug-Seeking Behaviour (faking illness to fuel narcotic addiction)
DTS - Danger To Shipping (in a particularly large patient's records)
DWPA - Death With Paramedic Assistance
Dude Factor - Survival scoring factor based on social worth. A high dude factor = an individual of questionable social worth who survives near-fatal injuries. A low dude factor = professional person who slips in the bathroom sustaining a fatal injury

Eating In - Intravenous feeding
ECU - Eternal Care Unit: heaven ("gone to the ECU = dead)
ERCP - Emergency Retrograde Clerking of Patient, an emergency procedure before the consultant rounds
Eternal Care - Intensive Care (for a petient who won't come out again)
ETOH - Extremely Trashed or Hammered (possibly corruption of "Etho", meaning an ethanol addict)
Expensive care - intensive care

Family Care Plan - One child gets the sniffles, whole family gets a trip to A&E
Fascinoma - Interesting pathology, but not as interesting as the ensuing politics over who gets first authorship when the case is written up
FCBP - Fellow of the College of Bystander Physicians i.e. doctor having a look-see
FD - F*cking drunk
FDSTW - Found Dead Stayed That Way
Feather Count - measure of flakiness (e.g. high feather count)
Faecal Encephalopathy - Sh*t for brains
FINE - F*cked up , insecure, neurotic & emotional
FIRT - Failed impact resistance test (crash victim)
FITH - F***ed in the head
Fluttering Eye Syndrome - Patient faking unconsciousness
FLB - Funny Little Bumps (unexplained skin bumps)
FLK - Funny Looking Kid (sometimes suggests rural inbreeding)
FLK w/ GLM - Funny Looking Kid with a Good Looking Mother
Flower Sign - flowers at a bedside, denotes patient has a supportive family and might be candidate for early discharge
FLP - Funny Looking Parents (hereditary cause suspected for FLK)
FODE - Falling On Deaf Ears
FORD - Found On Road Dead
FOOSH - Fall Onto Outstretched Hand (as cause of broken wrist/arm)
FOS - Full Of Sh*t (severely constipated
FPO - For practice only (FTD)
Frequent Flyer - Someone who is transported to and from hospital on a routine basis
Freud Squad - psychiatrists
Friday construction - Anatomical equivalent of the cars made on Fridays, when the workers mind was more on the weekend than the job in hand
FTD - Fixing To Die
FTF - Failed to Fly (botched suicide)

Gassers - anaesthetists
GDA - Gonna die anyway
GLM - Good Looking Mum
GOA - Gone On Arrival (police turn up, ambulance turns up, fire brigade turns up, patient doesn't)
Goat Rodeo - Emergency scene which goes badly (resembles a bunch of people riding or wrestling goats)
GOK - God Only Knows
Golden ass - affluent mother who treats the obstetrics nurses like servants
GOMER - Get Out of My Emergency Room; extended to mean elderly patient who is unable to communicate their symptoms and passed from one department to another
Gomergram - Ordering all available tests because the person is unable to explain what is wrong with them
Gone Camping - patient in oxygen tent
Goober - nutter
Gork - comatose or brain dead
Gorked Out - mental impairment through disease or substance abuse
Go to Ground - fall out of bed or chair
GPH - Goddamns Per Hour
GPO - Good for Parts Only (won't survive)
Granny Farm - old persons' residential home, run by a Granny Farmer
Grape Sign - grapes at a bedside, denotes patient has a supportive family and might be candidate for early discharge
Gravity Assisted Concrete Poisoning - jumped/fell from height
GROLIES - (UK) Guardian Reader Of Low Intellect In Ethnic Skirt
GTO - Gomer tip over (elderly person with injury from trip or fall)
GTTL - Gone to the light (died)
Guessing tubes - stethoscope

HAIRY PSALMS - Haven't Any Idea Regarding Your Patient, Send A Lot More Serum
HALS - Hit And Left Standing (apparently uninjured but in shock after RTA/MVA)
Hamburger (Helper) - Train or juggernaut vs pedestrian
Handbag positive - confused patient (usually elderly lady) lying on hospital bed clutching handbag
Happy feet - (US) patient having a grand mal epileptic seizure (in UK, Happy feet means smelly feet (feet which "hum" [stink])
HIBGIA - Had it before, got it again
High Serum Porcelain Level - Patient is a crock of sh*t
Hippo - Hypochondriac or depressive
HMO - From phrase, "Hey, Moe!", a concept pioneered by Dr Moe Howard, who discovered that a patient could be made to forget about the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough elsewhere. Modern "pokes" with same outcome include estimates for private treatment.
House red - blood
HTD - Higher Than a Duck
HTK - Higher Than a Kite
HVLT - High Velocity Lead Poisoning: gunshot wound

Improving His Claim - Victim of minor accident, needs no treatment but wants something to support his insurance/legal claim.
Inbreds - doctors whose parents are also doctors
Insurance Pain - Neck pain secondary to a minor car bump
Insurance Whiplash - Neck pain secondary to a minor car bump
ITBNTL - In The Box, Nail The Lid (dead or dying)

JLD - Just Like Dad (often used to explain an FLK)
Journal of Anecdotal Medicine - favourite, but unwritten, source of medical wisdom
J P FROG - Just Plain F***ing Ran Out Of Gas (old age etc)

Kidney Stone Squirm - a spot diagnosis in A&E

Leeches - those who take blood samples, e.g. lab techs
LMC - Low marble count (low IQ)
LOBNH - Lights On But Nobody Home
LOFD - Looks Okay From Door
LOL - Little Old Lady
LOLINAD - Little Old Lady In No Acute Distress
LPT - Low pain threshold
LRO - Luck Ran Out (cheated death before, but not this time)
LWS - (US) Low Wallet Syndrome (No medical insurance or money)

M sign - Patient just goes "Mmmm"
Map of Antarctica - (NZ) appearance of fatal spontaneous brain haemorrhage on CT scan
MARPs - Mind Altering Recreational Pharmaceuticals
MCBP - Member of the College of Bystander Physicians i.e. doctor having a look-see
Metabolic clinic - the tea room
MFI - very large myocardial infarction
MGM syndrome - Faker putting on a real good show
MICO - Masterly Inactivity and Catlike Observation
MICOS - Masterly inactivity, cat-like observation and steroids
Microdeckia - Micro = small, deck = deck of cards; patient playing with less that a full deck (low IQ)
MUH - Messed up heart

n=1 trial - polite term for experimenting on a patient
NAD - Not actually done
NARS - Not a rocket scientist (low IQ)
Neuro-faecal Syndrome - s**t for brains
NFN - Normal for Norfolk (rural area, suggests inbreeding or quaint rural oddness), might explain FLK
NGMI - Not Going to Make It
NKDA - Not known, didn't ask
NLPR - No longer playing records (dying)
NPS - New Parent Syndrome
NQR - Not Quite Right
NSA - Non-Standard Appearance (what a FLK grows into)

O sign - Patient unconscious with mouth open
OAP - Over-Anxious Patient
OBS - Obvious bullsh*t
OFIG - One Foot In the Grave
OFIGATOOS - One Foot In the Grave And The Other One Slipping
Ohno-second - The time from making an error (e.g. dropping that hard-to-get sample immediately after you got it) to going "oh-no"
Oil slick - (1991, NZ) - appearance on CT scan of a porencephalic cyst
Oligoneuronal - "few brain cells" i.e. thick (not very bright) (Note: In the UK, "dumb" means "mute")
Ooh-Aahs - Those who gather to gawk at an emergency and go "Oooh, Aaah"

PAFO - Pissed [Drunk] And Fell Over
Paninvestigram - order all the tests; for when you haven't got a clue what's going on
Paperweight - (NZ) very small patient with severe congenital mental retardation
Parentectomy - removing parents as an effective cure for a child's problems
Pathology outpatients - Follow-up for dead people
Paws Up - dead
PBAB - Pine Box At Bedside
PBS - Pretty bad shape
PBOO - Pine Box On Order
Percussive maintenance - the sharp tap/bang which cures faulty equipment
Pest control - term applied to psychiatrists by casualty officers
PFO - Pissed [Drunk] and Fell Over
PGT - Pissed [Drunk] and Got Thumped
Pharmaceutically Enhanced Personality - stoned or medicated
PHAT - Pretty Hot and Tempting (warning to others)
PIA - Pain in the ass
PIAF - Pissed as a fart
PID shuffle - apot diagnosis in A&E (Pelvic Inflammatroy Disease)
PIMBA - (Brazil) swollen-footed, drunk, run-over beggar
PITA - Pain in the ass
PLH - Pray Long and Hard
Plumboscillation - swinging the lead (malingering)
Plumbum oscillans - Latin for "swinging the lead" (malingering) i.e seeking a sick note to take time off work
Pneumo-cephalic - airhead
Podo-Oral - Foot in Mouth (i.e. put one's foot in it - rarely used BY senior staff, sometimes used ABOUT them)
Policeman Lesion - lesion on an X-ray so obvious that a policeman would spot it
Polydipose Dysfunction - big, fat patient (polydipose being invented plural of adipose [fat])
Pop Drop - granny dumping (dumping elderly relative at Casualty dept)
Porcelain Level - fictitious blood test ordered to communicate to colleague that the patient is malingering (crock of sh*t)
PPP - Piss poor protoplasm
PPA - Practicing Professional Alcoholic
PRATFO - Patient Reassured And Told to F*** Off
Psychoceramics - geriatrics
Pumpkin Positive - a penlight shone into the patient's mouth/ear would encounter a brain so small that the whole head would light up

Q sign - Patient unconscious/terminal with mouth open and tongue hanging out; "Dotted Q" means flies land on tongue (dead/dying)
Qwertyitis - what a doctor suffers from when he spends more time on a computer than with actual patients
QID - Queen in distress (hissy fit)
Q-Tip - Elderly person (white haired old person) (Q-Tip is a cotton bud)

Rabbit - over-talkative (from slang "Rabbit & Pork - talk)
Raisin Farm - old person's home, geriatric ward etc (also Raisin Farmer - person who runs old persons' home)
RBG - Received by God (a person in receipt of a Celestial Transfer)
RBS - Really Bad Shape
Rear Admiral - proctologist
Rear Admiralty - proctology dept
Removal men - dept of care of elderly people
Retrospectoscope - instrument of hindsight
Rheumaholiday - rheumatology (considered by hard-pressed juniors to be a less busy dept)
Road Chilli - Unrestrained driver/motorcyclist or passenger, ejected and splattered
Road Pizza - Unrestrained driver/motorcyclist or passenger, ejected and splattered
Rocket Room - a ward/unit where there are many deaths (many transfers to heaven)
Rocking horse stool - even rarer than hen's teeth
Rose cottage - mortuary
Rounding Up The Usual Suspects - Ordering a set of tests for a given set of symptoms
RPVU - Relative Porsche Value Unit: surgical index of potential income from the repair of patient injuries, usually orthopaedic in nature. Fractured finger = a windscreen wiper; a fractured hip = new tyres etc.
Rule of Five - if more than five of the patient's orifices are obscured by tubing, he has no chance

Saddles - Maternity sanitary towels (napkins), so called for their size and the bow-legged effect of wearing them
SBLEO - (pronounced S-B-Leo) Suicide By Law Enforcement Officer
SBOD - Stupid bitch/bastard on drugs
Scepticaemia - chronic condition suffered by two doctors in a debate over which therapy
Scratch and sniff - gynaecological examination
September club - the students who have to return after summer holidays for retakes
Serum porcelain - battery of blood tests on an elderly patient
Serum rhubarb - What they test for at tertiary centres
SF Scale - Sphincter Factor Scale: 1 to 10 scale indicating degree of bowel-loosening in response to an emergency
Shandy Tap - bloodless lumbar puncture
Sh*ts & Spits - lab tech term for a patient's stool and sputum samples; also the instruction to obtain these samples
Shotgunning - Ordering of a vast array of tests in the hopes that one or other of them will give an idea of what is wrong with a patient
Sick - Really sick i.e. FTD (Fixing To Die) or CTD (Circling The Drain)
Sidewalk Souffle - (US) suicide-by-jumping
Sieve - a doctor who admits almost every patient he sees
SIG - Stroppy Ignorant Girl
Silver Bracelet Award - patient is a prisoner brought in wearing cuffs
SIO - Sleeping It Off
Slashers - general surgeons
Slough - a patient inappropriately or unfairly unloaded from one hosptial unit on another
Smiling Mighty Jesus - (US) spinal meningitis (also Screamin' Mighty Jesus)
Smurf Sign - patient blue or going blue
SWAG - Scientific Wild Ass Guess
SWW - Sick, wet and whiny (infant)
SYB - Save Your Breath (for patients who don't take advice)

TATT - Talks All The Time (also "Tired All The Time")
T&T Sign - Tattoo-to-Teeth Sign: survival indicator; those who are tattooed and toothless will survive major injuries
Tax-Sucker - Someone who does not need an ambulance, but calls anyway because it's free
TBC - Total Body Crunch: multiple injuries
TDS - Terminal deceleration syndrome (e.g. RTA death, high-rise syndrome, jump-suicides and parachute-failed-to-open)
TEETH - Tried Everything Else, Try Homeopathy
TF BUNDY - Totally f*cked, but unfortunately not dead yet
THC - Three hots and a cot; sought in A&E by the local homeless
Throckmorton's Sign - in the unconscious male, the penis points to the injury
TMB - Too Many Birthdays: person dying of "old age"
Toaster - defibrillator
Trans-occipital implants - bullet wound to the head
Trauma Gods - Mythological deities whom A&E personnel believe to be the cause of major emergencies
Treat 'n' street - A&E's term for quick patient turnaround
Trick cyclists - psychiatrists
TRO - Time ran out
TSL - To Stupid to Live
TTFO - Told To F*ck Off
TTR - (UK) Tea Time Review (a ripping yarn?)
TTR - (US) Tattoo-to-Tooth Ratio (Dirtbag Ratio)
TUBE - Totally Unnecessary Breast Examination (might happen to a GLM)
Turf - get rid of patient by referring to another team (see also buffing, sloughing and bouncing)

UBI - Unexplained Beer Injury
Unclear medicine - nuclear medicine
UNIVAC - Unusually Nasty Infection, Vultures are Circling

VAC - Vultures are Circling (dying)
Vampires - those who take blood samples, e.g. lab techs (also slang for blood donor service)
Velcro - Family or friends accompanying patient everywhere
VIP - Very intoxicated person
Vitamin V - Diazepam
Vitamin H - Haldol
Vitamin P - Lasix (diuretic) given to stimulate urination (peeing) in post-operative patients

WADAO - Weak And Dizzy All Over
Wall - a doctor who resists admitting patients at all costs
Wallet Biopsy - (US) free medical test performed by hospital insurance department before patient is treated
White Mice - tampons
WNL - (Ambulance/casualty) Within Normal Limits, but more often interpreted as We Never Looked
WNL - Will Not Listen; patient won't take medical advice
Woolworth's Test - (UK anaesthesia) if you can imagine patient shopping in Woolies, it's safe to give a general anaesthetic
WWI - Walking while intoxicated (and fell over)
Wrinkly - geriatric

YOYO - You're on your own (message passed from one doctor to another regarding problem/mystifying cases)

Note: Any dept ending in "-ology" is likely to be nicknamed "-holiday" by those working in busier depts.


As used in microbiology depts runs from "Hard as Bullets" to "Could go through the Eye of a Needle" with appropriate analogies inbetween.

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