PDA

View Full Version : Work slang



kayleamay
01-26-2010, 12:12 AM
I just chatted with a friend that works with me in the medical field and she used a slang term we throw around at work sometimes that I will not post here because it would undoubtedly offend someone. But, it got me thinking. Just about everywhere I've worked, regardless of industry, has had it's own insider vernacular that has been created by the staff.

Here's a few examples from the medical field: (Some are specific to where I work.)

celestial discharge = death

circling the drain = patient soon to be celestially discharged

Vitamin H = Haldol

End Stage Panic Disorder = term used to describe the patient that is having a panic attack and is convinced he is dying.

love shack = behavioral unit

condos = beds separated only by curtains, rendering privacy impossible

resident = homeless guy who gets drunk every night then calls 911 and reports he's having chest pain so he can come to the hospital for a 3 hour nap.

Resident = wide-eyed person in white coat that asks too many questions and takes forever to write orders

You catch my drift? So, what are some of the phrases that get thrown around in your workplace? I'm just curious.

auntybug
01-26-2010, 12:15 AM
OMG!! I have to hold back my laughing when I call my boss at the other branch & ask for a size of paper. "We don't have 8 1/2 x 11 but I have 11 x 17. I'll just whack it". :roll:

whoops - sorry - not the same thing but it made me think of it. carry on. :tongue

Kitty Pryde
01-26-2010, 12:26 AM
OK, I used to think this one was only a hilarious joke someone came up with to amuse me, but at my old job I had to accompany a camper to the emergency department, and it turns out it is real (overheard a PA telling a CNA this)

Code brown: patient has had a bowel movement and needs to be cleaned up

Once at my current job, the boss started pronouncing the word 'synopsis' as 'sip-NO-siss' (English is his 2nd or 3rd language, so I'm not trying to be a hater or anything). Then a madness gripped the rest of my coworkers and THEY all started saying 'sip-NO-siss' too. And I was like, you guys totally know that's wrong! WTF! I had to pronounce it correctly for WEEKS before the others came to their senses again. The boss ultimately figured it out too.

Shakesbear
01-26-2010, 12:35 AM
Kensington Gore. Theatre speak for stage blood.

zahra
01-26-2010, 12:41 AM
When I used to sing on a cruise ship, we'd call the passengers 'cones' because they got in the way. If you got - erm - friendly with a passenger, we called it 'coning' and when you went into the Crew Bar during your coning phase, people would greet you by miming a cone on their head.

We had a lot of time on our hands.

Wicked
01-26-2010, 12:48 AM
The invert keeper world has a lot of slang, acronyms, and abbreviations.

T = Tarantula

sling= spiderling, or a baby spider.

pede = centipede

tagged = bitten

hot = significant venom

OBT = orange bitey thing. This is a specific species of tarantula known for its attitude problem.

hide = something put in the tank for the tarantula to retreat into, like a half log, or fake skull.

hook-up = breeding. This interprets pretty literally, since many male tarantulas literally have a set of hooks on their front legs for lifting the female.

Pokie = Nickname for the genus Poecilotheria.

Eggs with legs = term for a stage of development between egg and 1st instar spiderlings.

pinhead = very small cricket

vert = vertebrate

invert= invertebrate

Devil Ledbetter
01-26-2010, 12:49 AM
In college I worked in a deli where we called sandwich orders by their shorthand names. These included SHIT (Salami & Ham, Italian style) and CLIT (Club, Italian style). If you pulled out a hunk of cheddar or Swiss that had mold on it, you'd quietly pass it down to the kitchen for mold removal with a request to "trim this" or, if it was really bad, "give it a haircut."

zahra
01-26-2010, 12:58 AM
In college I worked in a deli where we called sandwich orders by their shorthand names. These included SHIT (Salami & Ham, Italian style) and CLIT (Club, Italian style). If you pulled out a hunk of cheddar or Swiss that had mold on it, you'd quietly pass it down to the kitchen for mold removal with a request to "trim this" or, if it was really bad, "give it a haircut."
I've lost my appetite.

NeuroFizz
01-26-2010, 01:42 AM
I don't know, a CLIT with Ruffles and a large Dr. Pepper sounds pretty good to me. Two straws, please.

semilargeintestine
01-26-2010, 01:49 AM
I just chatted with a friend that works with me in the medical field and she used a slang term we throw around at work sometimes that I will not post here because it would undoubtedly offend someone. But, it got me thinking. Just about everywhere I've worked, regardless of industry, has had it's own insider vernacular that has been created by the staff.

Here's a few examples from the medical field: (Some are specific to where I work.)

celestial discharge = death

circling the drain = patient soon to be celestially discharged

Vitamin H = Haldol

End Stage Panic Disorder = term used to describe the patient that is having a panic attack and is convinced he is dying.

love shack = behavioral unit

condos = beds separated only by curtains, rendering privacy impossible

resident = homeless guy who gets drunk every night then calls 911 and reports he's having chest pain so he can come to the hospital for a 3 hour nap.

Resident = wide-eyed person in white coat that asks too many questions and takes forever to write orders

You catch my drift? So, what are some of the phrases that get thrown around in your workplace? I'm just curious.

Milk of Amnesia = Propofol

Seat belt = a big leather restraint to keep people on the table

Fed-fed = prisoner coming for surgery

Beach Ball = a short, fat patient who is as wide as she is tall (this one is kind of mean and only used by a few people, and never around patients)

Cat Piss/Bug Juice = Ancef

Buzz me = taking the cautery and applying it to a clamp or forcep to cauterise tissue

There are probably about a hundred slang terms for the various instruments used in different procedures, especially in orthopedics. Pretty much every instrument has a nickname that everyone knows but is not its actual name.

Fran
01-26-2010, 02:06 AM
There's supposed to be a couple that are used in the UK.

FTFO: Failure to $*"? off, used to refer to a patient who just won't die or a hypochondriac who harasses their GP for a prescription when all they have is a cold.
DTS: Danger to shipping, meaning someone who's enormously overweight.

kayleamay
01-26-2010, 02:16 AM
In college I worked in a deli where we called sandwich orders by their shorthand names. These included SHIT (Salami & Ham, Italian style) and CLIT (Club, Italian style). If you pulled out a hunk of cheddar or Swiss that had mold on it, you'd quietly pass it down to the kitchen for mold removal with a request to "trim this" or, if it was really bad, "give it a haircut."

Oh, that is really gross, but completely believable. I'm still eating at Subway though.


KP, I can't believe I forgot code brown. That one is pretty much an industry standard. If you have more than one code brown in a day, it's called a brown Monday.

Semicolon, Milk of Amnesia has now been added to my vocabulary. Much thanks.

I also forgot to add FOS: it's how nurses describe patients that come into the ER for constipation. Full Of Shit.

kayleamay
01-26-2010, 02:17 AM
There's supposed to be a couple that are used in the UK.

FTFO: Failure to $*"? off, used to refer to a patient who just won't die or a hypochondriac who harasses their GP for a prescription when all they have is a cold.
DTS: Danger to shipping, meaning someone who's enormously overweight.

Oh, and that made me think of Failure to Fly, which is how we describe kids that have broken their arms from jumping off of things.

wittyusernamehere
01-26-2010, 02:30 AM
I read an article a long time ago about phrases docs were supposed to keep out of their shorthand. They included:

O Face - patient is getting close to death and mouth is hanging open.
Q Faced - same as O Face, but with tongue hanging out (or maybe this meant they had actually died. I forget)
FLK - Funny Looking Kid

And in the not-quite-work arena, one of my otherwise uber genteel in-laws calls speedbumps 'dead policemen'.

Devil Ledbetter
01-26-2010, 03:00 AM
Oh, that is really gross, but completely believable. I'm still eating at Subway though.
It was an independent deli. The occasional trimmed cheese notwithstanding, they had some pretty good stuff.

This muttering homeless guy used to sit in there for hours drinking coffee and arguing with the cardboard Santa face taped to the wall. We called him Mumbly.

kayleamay
01-26-2010, 10:15 AM
I'm at work right now, and I just remembered one more.

The Trifecta = name given to grouping of three acute rooms that no nurse wants to sign up for because they are so busy that they will never even get a chance to catch their breath. No one wants the Trifecta. Iz bad.

zahra
01-31-2010, 05:14 AM
OK, gonna have to actually code my code - can't actually give you the real initals of the person I'm referencing, so let's call them 'RP'.

So I work in a private media club, and one code we use is 'FORP', for 'Friend of RP.' RP is the owner.

The code means, someone who is trying to blag in the club by pretending they are a friend of the owner.

Clair Dickson
01-31-2010, 05:55 AM
Once upon a time, I was a retail clerk. When our store had a Starbucks move in, we realized that a cup of Starbucks coffee was the same price as the then-hourly wage for new hires. So we started referring to the ever-rotating stock of new workers (that never lasted) as cups of coffee-- also fitting because these people were hired on their ability to stand and be warm.

We called the interview a pulse check as even the ability to read or provide customer service was apparently not necessary for retail.

We would have given anything for the shrink ray that corporate had... see they'd send us a layout for how products were supposed to be set up on the shelves (a planogram). Except in their reality, a 12" candle holder can somehow fit in a 7" gap, amongst other interesting discrepancies that could only be explained by the elusive shrink ray. (Or, more likely, some moron in the corporate office didn't know how that grabbing the corners on an image causes the image to re-size.)

Retail dirt-- lighter than black pants, darker than any shade of khakis. Why retail workers always look dirty. And it doesn't wash out.

The only term we had for customers was for the roaming bands of teenagers/ young people that would come into the stores late at night and cause chaos and destruction. We called them yahoos (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Yahoo).

**
I have two from teaching.
Motivationally-challenged-- more than any other problem, this is the issue that my students have. They're smart, capable, and lazy.

Challenging students are the ones that make you grow as a teacher... assuming you don't stick any of them them in the closet first.

JulieHowe
01-31-2010, 07:13 AM
I work for a used-merchandise retailer. Our favorite code-words and phrases are:

Dollar Dellas and Two-Buck Chucks. These are the customers who buy merchandise priced at 99 cents or less. We no longer serve this end of the retail market.


Bottom Feeders. These are the competitors in our business who continue to sell to Dollar Dellas and Two-Buck Chucks.

They're phoning a friend. This referred to the above-mentioned bottom feeders who used to yell into their cell phones at job sites in the years before Bluetooth headsets were invented, describing the merchandise in great detail to someone on the other end of the line because they lacked the authority or knowledge to make their own buying decisions.

Devil Ledbetter
01-31-2010, 08:26 AM
We have a mentally retarded coworker, Pauly, who frequently comes up with inadvertent truisms. His most recent was "You know what I hate about watching football? You have to wait until the end to find out who wins."

At work we call statements like this "The wit and wisdom of the Pauly Lama."

DWSTXS
01-31-2010, 08:28 AM
mine are from the sports video industry:

cutups - these are the clips of individual football plays that coaches make to show players when they're studying film of the opponents during the week.

Blowups: I hate this one. I don't know why though. this is what coaches call watching video using a projector. (because it 'blows up' the picture to the wall.

ODK: slang for offense, defense, kicking

two's: short for 2 a days (practices in the summer)

spring ball: scrimmages/practices done in the late spring.

red shirt: to delay a college athlete's participation in order to lengthen eligibility

rhymegirl
01-31-2010, 08:07 PM
All of this work slang reminds me of something that happened to me once when I was at the hospital, and I am wondering what you medical people think about it. First of all, I think it's fine if medical workers use slang and say certain things amongst themselves, but I don't think it's good saying certain things in front of patients.

I was waiting to have my surgery, in my hospital gown, had my IV, very nervous about the whole thing. Two of the hospital staffers (I guess they were nurses) were talking to each other, right near me. The guy who had inserted the IV in my arm said something, referring to me. I don't remember why but he said, "Yeah, but she is gonna be getting cut." And then some laughter.

I sat there astonished. I didn't think there was anything funny about that at all and I was already really, really nervous.

Don't they caution medical workers to be careful what they say to and around patients?

kayleamay
01-31-2010, 08:20 PM
I don't work in surgical, so the reference doesn't mean much to me other than that you were going into surgery. I think most medical staff try to be aware of what they say in front of patients, but sometimes words that are common to us are translated horribly by patients.

Example: I will chart, "Patient is SOB," about twenty times a night, but when I'm giving bedside report (in front of the patient) I will tell the other nurse that patient has been "Short Of Breath".

I'm not saying that is what happened in your case, but I don't know enough about it to comment on it specifically. It's also possible that the person who said it was just a jackass.

rhymegirl
01-31-2010, 08:32 PM
I'm not saying that is what happened in your case, but I don't know enough about it to comment on it specifically. It's also possible that the person who said it was just a jackass.

Yes, I think he was totally insensitive. A patient who is going to have surgery knows they are going to get cut, but we really don't want to hear that word. Hearing the word just made me even more anxious than I already was. I think it's too blunt.

kayleamay
01-31-2010, 08:45 PM
In the ER we are sometimes blunt out of necessity. (Bluntness saves time and time saves lives.) But, I can see how "cut" would put a frightening image in your head when you're already apprehensive and waiting which is usually the worst part.

I guess it's a matter of using it (bluntness) only as called for. I don't think I would tell a person she was going to the OR to be cut, but I have told people things like, "If you take that mask off you will die," and "If you don't let us put an IV in you, we can not help you and you will die." I said those things because they were true, time was of the essence and it was the fastest way to make the patient understand that I'm really not joking and there is no room for an argument.

semilargeintestine
01-31-2010, 09:54 PM
Yes, I think he was totally insensitive. A patient who is going to have surgery knows they are going to get cut, but we really don't want to hear that word. Hearing the word just made me even more anxious than I already was. I think it's too blunt.

It's not about being blunt or not being blunt. He was just a jackass. I've been in surgical for 5 years, and I've never heard someone say that around a patient, including the people who are insensitive. I can think of only a very small number of procedures they would do in the operating room that don't involving an incision, so I'm not sure what benefit there was to saying something like that.

When we joke around with patients in the OR, it has nothing to do with the procedure they're about to have done. It's usually stupid stuff like, "Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times" when pushing the stretcher back to the room. Dumb stuff like that which even kids can laugh at.

kayleamay
01-31-2010, 10:20 PM
I know this is slightly off-topic, but last night one of the doctors was talking about how they are now to only chart that a patient is "obese" if their weight is contributing to a morbidity. If they are overweight but have no complications from it, they are to chart "fat".

This just sounds kind of strange to me. I understand using the term "morbidly obese" if there are multiple health problems that are related to the patient's size, but calling a healthy person "fat" just for the sake of pointing out their size seems unnecessary. But that's just my take. I can't imagine charting, "Patient is fat but healthy." It seems, "Patient is healthy," would suffice.