Beware the quack
Aussie Word of the Week
At a time when we are all relying to the expertise of our doctors and nurses, we are on the lookout for quacks, and not the kind you hear from a duck. A quack is an ignorant or fraudulent pretender to medical skill. Think Dr Nick Riviera from The Simpsons.
Similar words include mountebank, which more specifically refers to someone who sells quack medicines from a platform in public places, appealing to the audience by tricks and story storytelling (like a more sinister soapbox orator), and snake oil merchant, a confidence trickster who sells phoney medical treatments and other wares. Then there is nostrum, a word for a quack medicine.
Another medical related slang term is happy juice, a nickname for any pain relieving medication that comes in liquid form.
Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.
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