to cath

Caught in a television commercial for a medical supply firm:

I’m so tired of boiling every time I have to cath. (link to Flickr version)

That’s cath, a clipping of catheterize ‘use a catheter’. Both the full and the clipped version can be used transitively and intransitively (OED2 lists both uses for catheterize in its entry for catheterism). Here’s a transitive use of cath:

Our dog recently became paraplegic and we now have to cath him 3-4 times daily. (link)

The clipping provides a one-syllable version for a four-syllable technical term. It might also work to distance a speaker or writer from direct reference to catheters and the unpleasant business of catheterization.

3 Responses to “to cath”

  1. mollymooly Says:

    “confidence trick” > “con”
    anybody got a 5-to-1 clipping?

  2. mollymooly Says:


  3. to cath (redux) « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] beginning “End painful cathing” and noted some 343,000 raw ghits for cathing. I posted back in 2009 on a commercial with to cath in it, in which I treated cath as a clipping of catheterize […]

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