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Neurological Scottish neologisms
  1. John Paul Leach,
  2. Krishna Dani,
  3. Niall J MacDougall,
  4. Paul Gallagher,
  5. Edward J Newman
  1. Neurology, Institute of Neurological Sciences, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Edward J Newman, Neurology, Institute of Neurological Sciences, Glasgow G51 4TF, UK; edward.newman{at}

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In 1983, Douglas Adams and John Lloyd published The Meaning of Liff,1 a magnificent and hugely successful humourous book in which hundreds of common experiences, emotions, objects and situations were assigned UK place names (figure 1). Some of our personal favourites include the following:

Figure 1

The (original) meaning of Liff book.

  • Berriwillock (noun (n.)): an unknown workmate who writes 'All the best' on your leaving card.

  • Sheppy (n.): measure of distance (equal to approximately seven-eighths of a mile), defined as the closest distance at which sheep remain picturesque.

  • Shoeburyness (n.): The vague uncomfortable feeling you get when sitting on a seat that is still warm from somebody else's bottom.

In this article, we have compiled a number of Scottish place names (figure 2) that have now become attached to some classic phenomena of neurological practice. We exhort other areas to evolve their neurovocabulary.

Figure 2

Map of Scotland illustrating our Liff locations.

  1. Menzies (n.): the general practitioner who disagrees with the functional neurological disorder diagnosis because he ‘knows the family very well’.

  2. Dufftown (verb (v.)): listening to the patient’s relatives telling you all about their own illness.

  3. Bonkle …

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the manuscript equally.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned. Internally peer reviewed.

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