I learned a lot of words in vet school that I had never heard before in my life. And some of them I may never hear again. . . for certain many of them I’ll never use again! That’s to be expected with a medical degree, I imagine.
When I moved to Newfoundland I was right away exposed to the words and phrases unique to Newfoundland. Some are words I’ve never heard, some are words I’ve never heard with the particular meaning intended.
As a vet in general practice, you don’t want to be using all those thousand dollar words with your clients – they won’t understand you and your message will be lost. You typically find yourself tailoring your speech to your client – I have several clients who are nurses or doctors themselves, so I can get technical with them, and I’ll have inquisitive 7 year olds in the room who want to understand, so I need to use words they are familiar with, and I’ll have everything in between. The other day I had a sweet old woman who referred to her dog’s bowel movements as “poopies”, and by the end of the appointment I was saying “poopies” as well.
So along this vein, there are some words I’ve learned since I began working as a vet in Newfoundland. Maybe some of them are used elsewhere, but I never heard them until now and I’ve spoken to a lot of clients about their animals before I moved here. There are oodles of words and phrases I’ve heard in Newfoundland in general, but these are words I’ve only heard at work:
Logy: lethargic. This was the first word I heard in a room that I didn’t understand. . . I would smile and nod when clients complained their animal has been logy, and from what would follow I figured it meant depressed/slow/less energy.
Urge/Urging: vomit/vomiting. I was familiar with the word before as meaning “need or desire”, and was a bit confused the first time I heard it in this context. Maybe the client meant the animal was nauseous, felt the need to vomit? No, no, urging is actually vomiting. Awesome. And if I ask a client “any vomiting?” and they seem confused, I will clarify “Urging?” and that usually does the trick.
Cookie: Vulva. Never heard anyone use cookie as a word for girlie bits, and I only hear it come out of the mouths of my clients who are definitely from hear, so it makes this list. Thankfully this one I learned from a staff member before I was in an exam room and had to deal with a client saying her dog was “licking her cookie a lot”… because if I didn’t know what cookie could mean, that would’ve been an odd complaint…
Bird: Penis. As with cookie, I honestly had never heard this as a word for boy bits. The first time I heard it was pretty hilarious to boot: “His bird seems sore.” And it was very sore. Someone had been humping his fuzzy blue blanket a little too vigorously and had blue fuzz wrapped around his penis and digging into the tissue. Once the offended material was removed, I had to instruct the owner on how to lubricate her dog’s “bird” twice daily while it was feeling.
And one last one, that I isn’t related to my job actually, but I learned from someone at work, and we all died laughing that day. . .
Clit: tangle. As in “I couldn’t get a brush through my hair for all the clits in it.” Can also be the nubblies on a wool sweater.
Yes, those of us unfamiliar with the term in this context laughed a lot. We’re that mature. It’s how we get through the day without exploding from stress.