gomer
n. an undesirable hospital patient

The word “gomer” is often traced back to the acronym GOMER, or “Get Out of My Emergency Room,” in essence a difficult or troublesome patient. However, that doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case. Especially insofar as it’s also used as a general pejorative for a stupid person, it likely comes from the character Gomer Pyle. In fact, I was completely unaware of its medical connotations, having only known it in the sense of “What a bunch of gomers.”

Incidentally, it’s also the name of a Jewish patriarch in the book of Genesis (10:2-3).

For a more detailed explanation about the word’s popular folk etymology, see this great entry at Wormtalk and Slugspeak.

§1719 · February 7, 2007 · Tags: , , ·

1 Comment to “Wednesday’s Word: gomer”

  1. rob says:

    In fact, I was completely unaware of its medical connotations…

    Watch more Scrubs, imo

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