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Neonatal Unit Jargon

Katie in East Thetford, Vermont, shares medical slang and jargon from her work in the neonatal intensive care room at a hospital, including doorbell for “an alarm”; giraffe, “a special bed with controls for heat and...

Bear-Caught

An Omaha, Nebraska, man asks about the origin of the term bear-caught, which applies to someone with sunstroke or heat exhaustion. The point of popularization for this expression appears to be a 1965 book by Donn Pearce and its subsequent movie...

Neither Heat Nor Light

John Webster’s 1623 tragedy The Duchess of Malfi includes the memorable line: “Glories, like glowworms, afar off shine bright, / But looked to near have neither heat nor light.” Much later, Stephen Crane expressed a similar idea in...

No-See-Ums

The term no-see-ums refers to those pesky gnats that come out in the heat and humidity and are so tiny they’re almost invisible. The term goes back at least as far as the 1830s, and is heard particularly in the Northeastern United States. This...

Hooptie

What is a hooptie? Though it started in the 1960s as a term for a sweet new car, it became the common moniker for a beater, or a jalopy. Maybe Sir Mix-A-Lot said it best: “My hooptie rollin’, tailpipe draggin’/ heat don’t...

bro-in-lo

bro-in-lo  n.—Gloss: Brother-in-law. «No, your crazy bro-in-lo cannot pack heat in our ICU.» —“I can’t believe I’m having to go over this again” by Jo (Johanne Bertha) Head Nurse Mar. 28, 2009. (source: Double...