"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Monday, 10 November 2008


GB's blood pressure is up. That's not good news. That's the problem about having a healthy lifestyle as he does. If mine went up no one would be surprised. I know mine is OK because I had an appointment with a sphygmomanometer last week. At the time I didn't know what it was - it was just a blood pressure monitor.

So, to clarify matteres, a sphygmomanometer is an instrument for measuring blood pressure in the arteries. It consists of an inflatable cuff connected via a rubber tube to a column of mercury with a graduated scale. It measures systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

You can find out how one works at http://health.howstuffworks.com/question146.htm

The word is also useful as a sobriety test - try saying sphygmomanometer after three glasses of wine!


  1. I don't have so much of a problem with pronouncing the equipment as with some of the medication: Bendroflumethiazide had me beaten until a month or so ago - and now I don't take it anyway.

  2. Just to let you know that we refer to them as a 'sphyg' anyway, and as to the silly Americans making Bendrofluazide into the even longer Bendroflumethiazide for us a few years ago, we tend to write BFZ except on official prescriptions (well wouldn't you?)