Medical Mispronunciations and Misspelled Words: The Definitive List.

Hearing medical mispronunciations and seeing misspelled words are an under appreciated  joy of working in healthcare.  Physicians often forget just how alien the language of medicine is to people who don't live it everyday.  The best part about being a physician is not helping people recover from critical illness. The best part is not  about  listening and understanding with compassion and empathy.  Nope, the best part about being a physician is hearing patients and other healthcare providers butcher the language of medicine and experiencing great entertainment in the process.   Doctors can always count on a few patients (and other doctors and nurses) to say something in just the wrong way to bring a smile to their day. The Happy Hospitalist Facebook Page asked its thousands of daily readers to describe their funniest or most irritating medical mispronunciations and misspellings for medications, procedures, interventions and diagnoses.    They didn't disappoint.   Below is a detailed collection of responses provided by readers like you.  I also found a few other hilarious language misadventures from the internet to bring a smile to your face. 

What were the top ten most commonly mispronounced or misspelled medical words in this survey?  Leading the charge where Amiodarone, atenolol, colonoscopy, Coumadin, diabetes, Dilaudid, hydrocodone, hysterectomy, metoprolol, and Phenergan.

If you happen to stumble across this post describing funny medical mispronunciations and misspelled words, make sure to search the alphabetical list below describing both the correct (bold words) and the  incorrect references to common medical terms.  If doctors, nurses, patients and family are going to speak the same language of medicine, it's  important to stop confusing ammonia with pneumonia and blood clogs with blood clots.

Once you are done studying this definitive resource of misspelled medical lingo, make sure to review The Happy Hospitalist's  extensive collection of funny  medical slang and acronyms, funny fake diagnoses, signs and symptoms and funny patient quotes.  You obviously don't have anything else to do with your time or you wouldn't still be reading this!  Tell all your friends.  Print and post this definitive reference in your hospital break room or bathroom  for eternal enjoyment with the funny side of medicine.  Make sure to leave your own examples in the comments below.  If you have lists in your hospital, take a picture and email it to me at happyhospitalistATgmailDOTcom  and I will update this list to include your own nuggets of great daily hospital humor.  But before you see the list, make sure to check out the gruesomely funny video about mispronunciations in the work place!



THE MISPRONOUNCED OR MISUNDERSTOOD WORLD OF MEDICINE.

 

A

  • abdominal pain -  abominable pain, abominal pain
  • Achilles tendon -  akilese tendon
  • acid reflux -  acid reflex
  • acidophilus -  Sid and Phylis
  • ADHD -  HDHD
  • anesthesia -  anesceasia
  • astigmatism - a stigmatism
  • accurate I/Os  -  accurate eyes and nose
  • acute angina -  a cute vagina
  • albuterol -  albootaral, albooteral, buterol, albuteral
  • allergic reaction -  allergic erection
  • Alzheimer's -  alltimers, alztimers, old timers disease, oltimers,
  • Ambien -  ambria
  • Amiodarone -  amiroaderone, am-knee-darone, amniodarone, amarodorone, amiorodarone, amidrone
  • ambulance -  ambleeance, ambalance, ambulambs
  • aneurysm -  amarysm
  • antecubital -  anticubical 
  • anthrax -  amtracks
  • antibiotics -  antibygolics 
  • appendix -  APNDX, pendix, appendicks, ipendics
  • appendectomy -  appleectomy, add-a-dick-to-me
  • arthritis -  The Arthur, arthuritis
  • ask -  axe
  • aspirin -  assburn
  • asthma - assma, azma,
  • Assmatack -  instead of asthma attack
  • Atenolol -  atenol, atanol, atenenol, atenotol, antennanol
  • atrial fibrillation -  aerial fibaration
  • Augmentin -  augmentum, augiementim

B

  • barbiturates - bar-bit**-uates, bar-bi-tirades
  • Bartholin gland -  bartholomew gland 
  • below the knee amputation -  baloney amputation
  • between -  bequeen
  • bipolar -  bipolo
  • bisacodyl -  biskadill
  • bladder cancer -  ladder cancer
  • blood clot -  blood clog, blood clock
  • blood pressure cuff -  blood pressure cup
  • Botox -  buttocks
  • bowel obstruction -  bowel destruction
  • bowel impaction -  bowel compaction
  • bronchial asthma -  broccoli asthma
  • BUN -  bunt
  • bupropion -  buproprion
  • Buspar - badspar

C

  • CABG -  cabbage
  • C-section -  sea section
  • calcium -  kalshium 
  • callus -  callous
  • candida infection -  Canada infection
  • capnography -  capneography 
  • carbon monoxide -  carpet monoxide
  • cardioversion -  cardio conversion
  • Cardizem -  cardiazem, cardliazem
  • carotid -  care-ih-toid
  • carpal tunnel -  corporal punishment, carpal thunnel, car trouble, carpool tunnel
  • cataract - Cadillac
  • catheter -  Catholic, capiter
  • cecum -  secum
  • cellulitis -  cellulititis
  • cerebral palsy -  Sarah palsy, celebral palsy,
  • chicken pocks -  chicken pops
  • Chiropractor -  choirpracter
  • cholesterol -  chlorolesteral
  • ciprofloxacin -  ciproflucloxacillen
  • cirrhosis of the liver -  psoriasis of the liver, sclerosis of the liver, scoliosis of the liver, six roaches of the liver
  • cocci -  cockeye
  • Colonoscopy -  colonsclopy, colostomy, colonostomy, colonostrophy, coloscopy
  • concussion -  concrussion
  • constipation -  constickation
  • contractions -  contraptions
  • congestive heart failure -  congested heart failin
  • Coumadin -  coodamin, coumanin, coudamin, cummin, cooligan, cumiden
  • coxsackie virus -  coxsuckie virus
  • CPAP - C-Pak 
  • cryo -  Cairo

D

  • D&C -  DNC
  • dependent -  dependant
  • dehydrated - dehydrinated
  • depo provera -  depo primavera
  • diabetes - diabetis, suga' diabetes, the sugar, diabettys, diabeets, dabeets, da' suga
  • diabetic -  diabetical, "sugar pill"
  • diagnoses -  diagnosises
  • diarrhea -  diarear, diareah
  • dialysis - dinealysis, dryalysis, dialogy
  • dialyze -  dialasize, diagnalysis
  • dilated -  delighted 
  • disoriented -  disorientated
  • defibrillator -   defibulator, defibrillizer, fibulizor, fibalator
  • Diflucan -  diflunkin
  • Dilaudid -  di lada,  duodenum, dilautin, dialauda, dilauda, dilaudin, dilala, dilauden, diladeed, dilila, dilidad, dulauda, dilada, dilauntin, dilopadid, diladoo, dilauscious, lidaudid, dilowdin, dilautin, dilaudah, laudedid, diloodid, dahlonega, darvonidad, dull adam, dillydad, diladid, dialed in, diddlyadid, mili of dili, delightful, delighted, dddd, dilapida, diludid, the d one, dilaudemerol, delawtid, dolobid, dildemerol
  • diltiazem -  ditazolam
  • diverticulitis -  diberticulitis
  • dominant -  dominit
  • doppler -  gobbler, dobbler
  • donepezil - donzepril. 
  • dry weight -  dry wall
  • Dulcolax -  dookielax

E

  • eczema -  exema, eggs and ma
  • edematous -  edeminous, ah-did-ah-mus
  • EKG -  heartmagram
  • Elavil -  elaville
  • electrolytes -  electric lights
  • elephantiasis -  elephantitis
  • elicit -  illicit
  • emphysema -  infazima
  • encephalitis - syphilitis
  • epidural -  epidermal
  • epigastric -  epic gastric
  • epileptic seizure -  epileptic Caesar, eucalyptus seizure
  • erectile dysfunction -  reptile dysfunction
  • esophagus -  asophagues
  • exacerbation -  exaspiration, asserbation, exagerbate
  • excercise -  ectercise
  • excruciating -  cruciating
  • extubation -  excavation

F

  • fibroids in my uterus -  fireballs in my Eucharist (or universe or Eucharis), thyroids in my uterus
  • fibromyalgia -  ibromyfalgia, fibermalgia, fibermanalgia, fibro-my-algia, fibroidmyalga, fibermyallergy
  • fibroplastic breast -  fiber optic breast
  • Flomax - flowmore
  • folic acid -  fostic acid 
  • foramen ovale -  foraminal valley
  • Furosemide -  forcemide, fersamide

G

  • gabapentin -  gabbagantin
  • gallbladder  -  gullbladder, jawbladder, gallblatter
  • gangrene - gang green
  • generic -  genetic
  • Glucophage -  glucasausage
  • GoLYTELY -  gollytelly
  • gout -  goat, gouch
  • grand mal seizure -  grandma seizure, grand maul seizure, grand mall seizure
  • Guillian-Barre syndrome -  gougane barra syndrome

H

  • Haldol -  hound dog, haldog
  • heart catheterization -  heart cardization
  • heart murmur -  heart mummer
  • Heimlich maneuver -  hindlick maneuver, Heinekin maneuver,  
  • hemoptysis -  hymnoptosis
  • hemorrhoidectomy -  hermitrectomy 
  • heparin -  hefarin 
  • heroin -  heroine
  • herpes -  hair piece
  • HCTZ -  HTCZ
  • hernia - hyena
  • hiatal hernia -  hi herny, hymenal hernia, high anal hernia
  • HIPAA -  HIPPA, HIPPO
  • high bilirubin - hi Billy Rubin
  • hill -  heel
  • hospitalist -  hospital list
  • hydralazine -  hydrazaline
  • hydrocodone - hydrocodeine, hydrocordone, hydracodeine, hydrocordrone, hyda coda done
  • hydromorphone - hydramofo
  • hypertension -  the pressure, high blood
  • hypoxic -  hypopnic
  • hysterectomy - hickerectomy, histamyrectomy, hykterektomy, hicktorectomy, hikorekomy

I

  • ibuprofin -  I-B profin, I-B-U rofin, ibupropylene, ibubufferin
  • I have sinusitis -  I have sinuses
  • impetigo -  infantigo
  • induced in L&D -  instead of reduced in L&D,  seduced in L&D
  • intractable -  intrackable
  • inflammation -  inflamminated
  • inhaler -  inhalator
  • intubated -  incubated
  • ipratropium -  ipatropin
  • irritable bowel syndrome -  durable bowel syndrome, herbal bowl syndrome

J  

  • laparoscopic -  laptoscopical
  • larynx -  larnix
  • Lasix - Lasik, latex
  • lisinopril -  lisopril
  • Lorazepam - razorpam
  • Lortab - Loratab, lowtads
  • Lyme disease -  lime disease
  • Lyrica -  lycra
  • lymph nodes -  lymph noides, limp noids

M

  • maggots -  magnets
  • mammogram -  mammy o gram, mammiogram, mammeogram
  • melatonin pills -  melanoma pills
  • MRSA infection - merser infection
  • malnutrition -  maltrishoning
  • mastectomy -  masectomy
  • menopause -  many paws, menapause, minipause
  • menstruation -  minstration
  • Methotrexate -  mexotrexate
  • metoprolol -  meto-prolol, metaprod, me-prot-olol, met-RO-polol, meta-pro-lol, metopropolol, metopotol, matropalol, metepropol, metoprol, metopropol, meta-topro-lol
  • migraine headache -  migratin headache, my brain headache
  • milligrams -  thrilligrams
  • mitral valve -  micral valve
  • morphine -  mo phine, mophy, mofeen, mofeem
  • MRSA - MERCA
  • multiple sclerosis -  multiple scoliosis, multiple neurosis
  • mupirocin -  mop-u-rock-in
  • muscle -  mustle
  • "My bone wasn't broken, only fractured"
  • myocardial infarction -  myocardial infraction, cardio fart

N

  • nauseous -  nauseaouas
  • nauseated -  nauseation
  • nebulizer -  nibulator, febulizer, nebalizer, mebulizer
  • Nissen -  neesan
  • Norvasc -  norvasac
  • NSAIDS -  nay-sayds
  • nuclear test -  nuculer test, nook-ya-lar

O

  • omeprazole -  o-mee-pra-zo-lee, o-mep-ra-zo-le, om-nep-praz-olol, "o something"
  • ophthalmology - opthalmology, optamology, optomology
  • orient -  orientate
  • oriented -  orientated
  • osteochondral -  osteocondo, osteocondom
  • osteoperosis -  osteosperosis
  • Oxycodone -  oxycordone
  • Oxycontin -  oxycotton
  • oxygen -  oxgen, octagon, oxcuagen

P

  • pacemaker -  peacemaker
  • palpate -  palpitate
  • pancreatitis -  pancreitis
  • pap smear -  pepper smear
  • paraneoplastic panel - perineal plastic panel
  • patients -  patience
  • Percocet -  purpocet, percostat, purpacet, perpocet
  • perfusion -  profusion
  • pericarditis -  periocarditis
  • perineal -  peroneal
  • peripheral -  peripherial
  • pharynx -  pharnix
  • Phenergan - finnagin, phenergrin, phen-a-kin, phenergun, phenegren, pheneegan, phenagrin, phenegram, phenygen, phennygin, phenergran, vinegar, phenegran, fingin, fennigan
  • phenobarbitol -  peanut butter balls
  • phlebotomy -  lobotomy
  • pitocin - potassium
  • Plavix -  playvix, pavlix
  • pleural -  plural
  • pneumonia -  ammonia, lamonia, numonia, phemonia
  • polyps -  plopps, pollits
  • Port-A-Cath -  portacast
  • prednisone -  presinone, pregnisone
  • prescribe -  perscribe
  • prescriptions -  perscriptions
  • Prevalon boot -  provolone boot
  • Prilosec -  prolosex
  • Propofol -  propothol, propathal
  • propranolol -   propanolol
  • prostate -  prostrate, prospate
  • Protonix - protronix
  • Prozac -  prosack 
  • PSA -  PSI
  • pseudoseizures -  sudo seizures
  • pulmonary -  plumbinary, pluminary
  • pulmonary embolism -  pulmonary emblems
  • pneumonia -  ammonia, lemonia, pamonia, p moan ya
  • pyelonephritis -  polynehpritis

Q

R

  • Ramipril -  ram-per-il
  • rectal pain -  rektical pain
  • reflux -  reflexin
  • reflux on my esophagram -  reflexes on my coffeegram
  • rhabdomyolysis -  rhabdomyolitis
  • rheumatoid arthritis -  rumatard arfritis, rumortard arthritis
  • ringworms -  wingworms
  • Risperdal -  risperidal
  • Rocephin -  rocepherin
  • rotator cuff -  rotor cup, rotary cuff, roterer cuff, rotator cup, rotary cup
  • RSV -  RSVP

S

  • saddle pulmonary embolism -  saddled pulmonary embolism
  • sats -  stats  (an in oxygen stats)
  • Schizophrenia -  schitzophrenia 
  • sciatic nerve -  psychotic nerve, exotic nerve, psychiatic nerve, sanotic nerve
  • seizures -  skezures
  • Seroquel -  sequel
  • shotty lymph nodes -  shoddy lymph nodes
  • sickle cell anemia-  sick as Hell anemia
  • sleep apnea -  sleep apney, sleep napia
  • something -  sompin
  • smoking cessation classes -  smoking sensation classes 
  • spayed -  spaded (for the vets out there!)
  • specific pain -  Pacific pain
  • spinal meningitis -  smiley mighty Jesus
  • spironolactone -  spy-ra-lone-a-lack-ta-tone
  • Staph infection -  staff infection
  • stent -  stint, splints, stimps
  • Strep throat -  strip throat , script throat, scrip throat
  • stroke -  scroke
  • sulfa -  sulfur
  • suppositories -  depositories  
  • Synagis -  synergist

T

  • telemetry -  the lemon tree, telepathy
  • tendonitis -  tendernitis
  • testicles -  technicals
  • tests - testes
  • Tetanus shot -  technical shot
  • Theophylline -  thee-o-fi-lean
  • throat -  instead of throak
  • thrombocytopenia -  instead of thrombocytopenis
  • thrush -  thrash
  • TIAs -  teeahs
  • topical nystatin -  tropical nystatin
  • Toprol -  topal 
  • trachea -  trachlear
  • Trazodone -  tray-za-done
  • trichomonas infection -  tracheotomy infection, trick infection, trick a monkey infection
  • troponins -  patronins
  • tubal ligation -  tubal langee-on, tubal litigation, tubolization
  • Tylenol -  tylol, tylenoids, time in all
  • Tysabri - tysaybri

U

  • uvula -  vulva
    umbilical -  umbiblical 

V

  • vagina -  vajinga, Virginia, pajama
  • vaginal discharge -  virginal discharge
  • Valium - vacuum
  • vegetations -  vegetables
  • ventilator -  emulator 
  • vertigo -  vertical, vertago
  • vesicle -  vesical
  • Viagra - viagry
  • Vicoden - vickoden, vi-code-an, vicodan, vicaden
  • volatile -  voluatable
  • vomit -  vomick
  • vomiting -  vomicken, vomicking
  • Vulva -  instead of uvula

W

  • warfarin -  wahfehrn, warafin
  • Wenckebach -  winkyback  
  • welts -  whelps
  • wheezing -  weasel
  • whopping cough -  woofing cough

X

  • Xopenex -  zofenex
    x-ray -  x-tray, x-ration

Z

  • Zofran -  jofrain 
    Zosyn -  josin

Now, please enjoy these medical E-cards from The Happy Hospitalist.

"It's hysterectomy, not hickterectomy.  What the hick is wrong with you?"

Hysterectomy not hickterectomy ecard humor photo




"Nurse, it's been a week since we incubated the patient. Let's excavate the tube from their throak and turn off the emulator. And do it sat, please."

misspelled and mispronunciation doctor funny ecard humor



"In need of a mebulizer breething machine that taked albuteral medicine for  my friends mom she has copd and infazima if you have one please let me know."

medical misspellings facebook example humor


This post may contain humor that is only understood by those in certain healthcare professions. Read at your own risk.

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