Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Vocabulary Expando

Speedo-Clad ManThis past week I learned several new words and phrases. Allow me to share a few with you.

“Speedo sag” –- I learned of this phrase from a tweet from @BAAPSMedia:

Have just seen a cosmetic surgery press release about so-called “Speedo Sag”….Eww.

My first thought was the same as my OR crew, whom I polled. We all thought it had to have something to do with the parts of the male anatomy which should be covered by the Speedo, such as perhaps the scrotum. It doesn’t.

I Googled it to find out. It has to do with the male’s abdominal skin and fat which falls over the top of the Speedo. Apparently, they’re looking for a male abdominoplasty:

Many of the men who want to get the tummy tuck (aka “Speedo sag” surgery) have lost weight or started a fitness plan and are looking for a surgery that can remove pockets of fat or loose flaps of skin from their stomach.

I would have called this the “spare tire” or the “dunlop,” but not “Speedo sag.” 

The above phrase gave us some risible moments in the OR.


1. Laughable; ludicrous.
2. Disposed to laugh.
3. Relating to laughter.


From Latin risus, past participle of ridere (to laugh). Other words that share the same root are ridiculous, deride, rident, and riant.

It hit me as I was writing this that the facial muscle risorius -– who’s function is to retract the angle of the mouth to produce a smile — has the same etymology.

And now I hope you will forgive me for the above folderol, as I wish you many risible moments today.


1. Nonsense; foolishness.
2. A trifle; gewgaw.


From a nonsense refrain in some old songs. The word is also spelled as “falderal.”

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

You may also like these posts

    None Found

Read comments »

Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »