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Diabetes Sniglets: dTOE II ?

Waaaaaaaay back in the day (like in March of 2006), I wrote about the special language that diabetics, and the people who love us, use every day.  Phrases like "I'm so high," make people encourage you to take an injection instead of taking a drug test.  Or terms like "rage bolus," when you take a massive dose of insulin as response to the frustration and annoyance of a prolonged high blood sugar.  Or the ol' SWAG (Scientific, Wild Assed Guess) bolus, where you use more instinct than data to bolus an unexpected or uncalculated meal.

Just like the genius IT guys in my office, we've got our own unique jargon here in the diabetes community.  We walk the walk and talk the talk!  I'm looking to compile another edition of the Diabetes Terms of Endearment (dTOE?) - and I need your help again.  If there's a special diabetes-related phrase, or an inside joke, that you and your family use, send it to me!  Or leave it in the comments section. 

dTOE:  Second Edition?

Either way, I'm looking forward to laughing my arse off and nodding my head in recognition as I read the dTOEs.  (The "Daylight Savings Time" one gets me every time.)


The two biggies for me and my family are both movie related:

"'Low blood sugar?' 'Yeah, it's a curse'" (Disney's Emperor's New Groove)

"Gimme a juice box, beeotch." (Zathura)

My Dad even used the last one on a nurse while he was in the hospital... needless to say, we had to explain but at least she thought it was really funny too!

We've always referred to my diabetes as "the Beedies", usually spoken in the voice of an old man. "I gots the BEEDIES!"

We always use, "Shoot up", as in "Did you shoot up? Or I need to shoot up (some insulin). I always get strange looks anytime I mention it in public. My father is a Type 2 and is on shots. We always tease each other about it. People probably think we are a bunch of druggies.

My mom (and after I told them - my friends) always ask me if (when I am about to eat something) I need to "dial it in". Please tell me - when is the last time you have seen a dial on your pump?

I had something I called "Diabetes Vernacular" a while back; many of these were courtesy of the original DTF message board, but I added a few of my own and the others did too:

- Gusher -- after pulling needle or cannula out, blood spurts out
- Red Gold -- after pulling needle or cannula out, blood comes out but not in spurts
- Flicked -- son kicking or pulling wife's insertion site out
- Cheetah Spots -- black and blue belly marks
- Flea Bites -- little red insertion site makrs
- Pencil Pricking -- my wife changes her lancets like once a quarter, her lancets are about as sharp as new pencils
- Surf Boards -- used OneTouch test strip on the carpet
- Cat Toy -- pen needle caps
- Punching Bag -- the tunnel vision you get when really low
- Inhaled Airborne Sugar -- odd overnight spike in BS for no reason
- Salad for dinner? -- "your pre-dinner BS was so high that you have to eat salad as your entree?"
- The Bulge -- meter in pocket
- The Stash -- an odd collection of Easter, Halloween, gifts and other items that contain sugar that are used for lows
- Purgatory -- the time after taking your blood is taken and your doc calls back with the result

The following were my own additions to this brilliant list:

- Multiple choice test -- when you don't even need to use a lancet to test because you can simply squeeze your fingertip and have blood come out of several different lancings already there
- Fingertip skidmarks -- a small streak of blood that continues to leak out of your fingertip after testing which continues leaking no matter how much pressure you put on it
- Bloodletting -- Not using a perfectly good cut from a knife or other household item for a glucose test because you recently tested

Then, there were a few other additions from the Diabetes OC members:

- Leach -- first strip didn't suck up enough blood so it's trash-bound
- Hockey Puck -- glucose tabs
- Very Pregnant -- high positive result on keto strip
- Not Pregnant -- negative result on keto strip
- Rebleed -- leach (see above) didn't work, hole filled in, more pressure needed to get anything out without having to relancet
- Zombied -- fingers too cold to get any blood out
- Drunk -- really-high sugar
- Carb -- any substance up to 15 grams carb in it (potatoes, chips, 6 oz. Catalina dressing, carrots, etc)
- Devil Food -- food that for no reason at all, always shoots your sugar through the roof (why I can't eat popcorn and my wife doesn't eat lots of pizza)
- Fatted -- Pizza style effect where the fat absorbed more slowly so high BS occurs hours later -- yes, I know I should get a pump and embrace the fabled "square bolus."
- High GPA -- Above 7.0 on A1C
- Sugar Stack -- my large collection of glucometers trapped in my closet
- Cheap Date -- all diabetics, we don't require dessert
- UnCarbed -- eating odd food, for which you don't know the carbs for
- Carb Query -- asking wait staff what carb is for UnCarb food -- usually replies come with blank stare
- "You've been pumped!" -- introducing yourself to a total stranger simply by noticing that they're wearing a pump or carrying insulin supplies.
- "High Military" -- food that has high GI value
- Diablandic -- sugar-free or diabetes marketed food that tastes horribly bland (ex: - Girl Scout Sugar-Free Brownies)
- Sugar Shy -- not telling anyone that you're diabetic

We use shoot up too.

I also do "What's your blood like?" to my husband. My 7 year old goddaughter turned to me and said, "Aunt J, isn't it red?"

Nothing new to add, but we use SWAG all the time. My husband and I were both using SWAG in a conversation and a friend who overheard was like "what...?!?!?"

My fave is:
Insulate - the act of taking insulin (my Dad first said this to my hubby - 'have you insulated yourself yet')

I usually say "time to poke" when I want a fingerstick. My friends react by poking my side. It is SO NOT FUNNY.

There are some great ones up there! My contribution was already posted by Liz, Insulate.

"Creepy fingers" - A term my sister uses for what my over pricked fingers look like after a long swim in the summer. Basically pruney + holey = creepy fingers.

My roommate uses "insulate" and "shugz." I call my diabetes "Mah beetis" because sometimes it likes to be ghetto. My newly type 2 cousin calls his beetis "halfabetes" and sometimes "fakeabetes."

I call free foods non-carbonated.

shoot and i also forgot any test strip that doesn't work - gets an error, doesnt suck up enough blood, whatever, that's a dud.

OH the entries thus far!!!

We are a funny bunch! I cannot stop laughing....

Leading up to my Endo appt yesterday, I apparently confused my ENtire family!!

So "ENdo" is a fav for me now!!

There is always my favorite, "What the..." look or the "creepy silence" when I say:

I would rather be high than low any day!

Still cracks me up!

"Shootin' up" is an oldie but goodie for me. In high school my friends use to say that then I would, ya know, do the two finger slap to the arm....

And recently I have veered from saying "diabetic" or "diabetes" and leaving it as......Chronic. (as in, I am a Chronic, the looks and responses are priceless!)

"Finger Test" is another oldie that cracks me up. Gotta love the fam! Um, not testing my finger, I am "pokin' it" cuz it is fun! Testin' the blood folks, the blood, for sugar content, ya know cuz I got the "suga"?! ha ha

Oh I am sure I will remember more.....this is fun, thanks so much for this Kerri!!!! You Rock!!!

Does anyone else do a Wilford Brimley impersonation when they refer to their "diabetus"?


I'm a relatively new reader, long-time diabetic. Here's a couple that made me smile:

'Old School Shot': using a vial of insulin and syringe as opposed to pen/pump

'3 am bathroom break': 3 am is my troublesome low time. My boyfriend wakes up as well- is it time for our 3 am bathroom break? He pees, I drink juice.

I'm looking forward to the whole list!

So in order for you to get this you have to understand that I care for my 3 year old daughter with diabetes.

When she is not being cooperative with testing BG I have been none to tell her

"Give Mommy the finger!"

In a loud and stern voice. I didnt think anything of it until someone overheard me the other day and was like, "Are you teaching your child to flip you off." OOOOOOPS!

CSI's wet dream: The blood stains on sheets and clothing from glucose tests.

Diabetes medicine: Juice boxes (the only way I can get Jessica and Jake to stop begging me for one when they see me giving it to Brendon).

Pumper: someone who's on the pump.

You're not the only one, Rob - in my house "diabetes" is always pronounced "DIABEETUS" a la Wilford Brimley.

I've occasionally been accused of being "insulint" (having a bad attitude, while also being diabetic).

Also, I like to call them "pee-tones" instead of ketones.

Hmm. My friends and family usually ask me how full of it I am after I do a test. Referring to my level of 'BS'. I always respond, "Full as always."

Hangover = headache from recovering from a low.

My leash = My pump tubing. You grab ahold of that and you can drag me anywhere. :)

Loaded = anything that is non diet. Like "I feel like having a loaded pop today."

Sugar Stashes = the stashes of sugar I have at every friends place and in my bag, my pockets, my boyfriend's pockets.

Hmm, I know I have a lot more but I can't think of them right now. Can't wait to see the new list.

All of the above are hysterical!

I refer to taking my shots as being 'inked', because I use insulin pens. I've had people ask me what I'm going to get, assuming I'm getting a tattoo.

I've also heard the 'going old school' remark when referring to taking a pump vacation.

Robert - I was going to add that one! I say it the Wilford Brimley way all the time, usually in the context of "Hold on, I have to take care of my diabeetus."

Not long after I was diagnosed my friend was telling me how he was low one time and thought about taking his pants off somewhere would be a good idea. Anytime either of us are talking about being low we say, "this looks like a good place to take my pants off!"

Love the Wilford Brimley reference. Anyone catch "him" on SNL a few years back doing the commercial spoof for Libery Medical? On a horse pounding down pancakes with a gallon of syrup.

Anyway my term is "geyser"

Those times when you squeeze your finger during a BG and blood rockets into the air like Old Faithful.

Hopefully you're not wearing a white T Shirt. I'm always wary of this if checking myself on a plane. I usually check my BG in the lavatory - but if my seatmate is dozing I'll prick right there in discreetly lap... but am always cautious of this :)

Dammit Wilford Brimley's SNL slip isn't on YouTube - but this is:


One more term: "Not a Toy."

My sister also has the Paradigm pump, and my 15 month old beautiful niece is at the age where she's exploring and grabbing everything around her.

When she reaches for the pump/tubing my sister repeats: "Nope - Not a Toy" - and I do the same.

My husband and I have one for when I took my Symlin at a meal and then ate too much - Symlinated. When I am Symlinated, he knows to leave me alone because I am borderline nauseous.

I also had to clarify with my therapist that when I said "I am low," I was not referring to my mood.

I just thought of another one. I love looking at my sensor and being "flat-lined!" As a nurse, I try to becareful to not say that around my coworkers. :)

I used to call my daughter my "insulin junkie" but had to stop after her younger brother told the auto shop not to worry if there were any syringes in the car, "my sisters a junkie so it's okay if we have syringes."

Both related to the use of CGMS systems:

"I'm on" - refers to the time period of using either Dexcom or Real-Time.

"Flat line" - A welcome sight when I'm on. Refers to rock stable, flat, normal, wonderful blood sugars over a prolonged period (3 or 9 hr screens on the D7). Especially gratifying after pizza, chinese or bagels.

"Bagel bolus" - Always a SWAG. Rarely results in a flat line.

"MMMM" - The usual pattern one sees on the 9 hr screen after ingesting a meal of chinese or bagels and then the resulting rage boluses that follow. "My sugahs (I from Maine) are MMMM bad."

My little guy calls the test strips "blood suckers."
Also, a finger that reliably gives a good blood bubble is a "juicy one."

His preschool classmate announced that he needs juice because he has "dead bees."

I dunno if this has already been mentioned, or if it's unique to me, but I (and my friends) often refer to my diabetes as my "drug habit." My sister also refers to my pump as my "portable pancreas." Also, I still use "shoot up" even though I use a pump now... Is that strange? I think I get even stranger looks when I say it, cuz there aren't any needles present...

I gotta test.

Oooo and my hubby always asks when he knows I am irritable about testing, well what is it?

Definetely use the Wilford Brimley "diabetus". Along the same lines, my wife frequently asks "did you check your BS?", to which I reply..."there's not reason not to!"

LOL! This is great.. My dad says "insulate" too, and I always remember him asking me "sucroas good?" when I was younger..it's the gaelic word for sugar and he pronounced it like "shookra" ..for some reason I always found it funny. I've gotten a few stange looks when I've said "I am sooo high right now" in public too.. :P

Oh and another one my dad says: "Have you checked your checkins?"- meaning, have I checked my sugar? Haha.. he seems to have a lot of weird phrases.

Ok, so I cringe when people use the word "diabetus" instead of diabetes. You know the way Wilford Brimley says it annoys the crap out of me. So while I was studying to become a dietitian my friends decided that DIABETUS sounded like an STD so everytime I have a low or high I tell people I got a case of da Beetus.

my family and I say::
checker - for my glucometer
I always find myself saying "Where is my checker?"
and I also say..."I'm so HIGH right now" haha that was metioned already. Its pretty funny when you say it in public and people look over. and then your like..not really, just my sugar!
and also if my sugar is high and i don't feel like saying anything...and my mom asks me..I'll just point and look up to the sky...
I dont know what else i say...we say so many things...i can't remember all of them at the moment.

Couple more I remembered:

We got us a "squirter"!!
Fresh blood here we come, pricked that finger and all of a sudden it Shoots out like a laser! Whoa! Look out! Tiny droplets everywhere!

And what I endearingly call "shivers" or "convulsions". These come in a wave of 3s. Post low symptom of mine...blood sugar starts to come up and Wham! I shiver...feels like, looks like it but sometimes my whole upper body (today it was my right hand too) just shakes, moves, goes, I have no control, whew! There it was, there it goes. I am coming up!

There's gotta be a better word for this - but

"Cramming" or "Sleep Cramming"

When you wake up with low BG - stumble to the kitchen and just start shoveling in any food around to get your BG up.

Which for me usually results in high BG 4 hours later upon waking up.

I was "Sleep Cramming" last night at 43. Woke up at 230!

I always use "diabetes sheriff" for any non-diabetic who feels it is their job to give their opinion on what I should eat. You know, when you're at a social function and someone says "Oh that's right, you have diabetes, you can't have this." What, who made them the diabetes sheriff?!


"Panic Eating" is what I call it!!! hee hee, one word for it though, have not come up with something yet....

I like cramming.

Playing Frogger-When you do the quick key bolus on your MiniMed pump instead of going through the menu.

How's your blood?

Sugar police-same as the diabetes sheriff.

we have:

"carbage" (rhymes with garbage) as in "what's the carbage on that donut?"

"full moon" said whenever we have a weird high blood sugar at night - usually proceeded by "Ian's high, crow must have flown over head, must be tuesdsay, venus must be in retrograde, must be a full moon" - meaning, who the F knows why he's high, could be anything.

"oh donuts" Swear word used for an unexpected high high long after a meal. Started after consuming donuts once and ian came out with it "oh donuts mumma" and I said "exactly", now it's the standard phrase.

"pokey stick" lancing device.

"tired tired" or "hungry hungry" or "dizzy dizzy" as in "Mom, I'm dizzy dizzy, not low dizzy" or "I'm hungry hungry, not low hungry"

ydmv your diabetes amy vary

"the cops" A little secretive term for when someone is being the 'diabetes police' and talking about what I can eat / how my BGs are.

My son (11 years old) says I'm insulated, or need insulation, when talking about me taking insulin.

He also likes to come up with long words for diabetes (he knows I hate the term diabetes and want a new name for it). Stuff like: Anti-carbohydrate-itis, pancreatic flopinating, anti-carbonated insulinitis etc. He's come up with some great ones, I only wish I could remember them!

I'm loving reading these - there are some fantastically funny things, and some I can nod my head along with. Geez we diabetics can be weird lol

"sugar boogers"- those little gummy candies Noah eats when low.

"Hans and Franz" - to change a pump site "I'm going to pump you up"

Shannon's CSI one is the best! I ALOL!

Wow, waaay too funny.

We call strips on the floor "cockroaches."

And we say "ah...got me!" (as in "I've been shot/stabbed, etc.") when I have a CSI's wet dream.

My pump I refer to as my "juicebox". It all started when I first started pumping and the "low reserve" beep went off and my wife asked what was that and I responded that I was low on juice. So now whenever it beeps my family asks "what's up with the juicebox"? Or if I'm eating a big meal my son will say "you're gonna need a lot of juice for this meal"

"Get the machine!"


"Get the meter!"


"Hey, let's check your blood sugar!"

Can be said to anyone who is already familiar with your diabetes and has done something to make their finger bleed out a drop, i.e. a papercut, sewing needle prick, small scale kitchen knife or razor incident, etc.

That one has been in my family pretty much since my diagnosis!

CCB - Crazy correction bolus

DD! - Dam diabetes!

"I have to manage" - means that I need to test.

Dixietest - testing after Dixie alerts me. My colleagues use this term. ("Are you doing a dixietest?")

Not really a special phrase, but I remember once while playing on a sport team, I ran off to check my blood sugar. When I ran back, my friend asked me "How are you?" The answer was simply 182. Everyone was pretty confused.

My twin and I, both type 1 always say we have LBS (low bloods sugar).

toxic waste: what my sweetie calls my used test strips if they DON'T end up in the trash or in the lil old test strip cannister marked "used"

I use the term "carbage" everyday. "What kind of carbage do you want for breakfast?" or "That's too much carbage for me".

Haven't seen this one yet, so thought I would pop it in here...my daughter, dx at age 4, started calling the lancing device "the snapper" while we were in the hospital. The first time I "snapped" myself to check my BG out of curiosity, I realized that it does kinda feel like being snapped by a rubber band.

Oh man, these are great. Loving it!

I use "LADCS" quite a bit. Pronounced LADKISS, and it stands for


Used like "LADCS bolus". Related to but a bit different than the SWAG bolus (which implies SOME thought), this is when you eat some food, take some insulin, and know that it will all wash out hours later. You'll likely need to eat a bit more or take some insulin.

Most often used when eating Doritos right out of the bag rather than counting out the 14 chip servings.

I too love the Zathura line that Samantha quoted. LOL!!

There is the classic "time to shoot up" saying.

haha I also called insulin "In" for a while, back when "are you in?" was a slogan for some phone company. it was funny to meee.

My 2 1/2 yo son calls my CGMS receiver my 'glucose momiter'.

The best pronunciation of diabetes is diabeet-us, not diabeet-eze. It would be spelled diabeties to be pronounced dibeet-eze. For Los Angeles we pronounce it Los Angel-us, not Los Angel-eze. Diabetes was pronounced diabeet-us in the 1930s, '40s and '50s by the medical profession and by ordinary citizens. It was often called sugar diabetes to indicate diabetes mellitus rather than diabetes insipidus. Wilfred Brimley pronounces diabetes in the correct original way. I know. I was there.

I have been carrying around test kits for over 33 years now. They have fondly become "my junk"

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