from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A gauze or surgical sponge left inside a patient's body during surgery.


From Latin gossypium, "cotton", and Swahili boma, "concealment". (Wiktionary)


Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • The tags are funny, though.

    November 9, 2011

  • The "examples" for this word seem to have gone a bit off the rails. Eh, Tiger?

    November 9, 2011

  • A gauze or surgical sponge left inside a patient's body during surgery.

    February 19, 2011

  • I'm with Quinion on this one. It's less likely that someone (Williams, Bragg & Nelson 1978?) created it with a specific Swahili word in mind, than that it's suffixed with a semi-arbitrary -b- (an error or echo of -bi(o)-?) and ordinary Greek -oma, then they (or someone) fortuitously noticed boma in an English dictionary.

    June 18, 2009

  • The unreferenced Wikipedia page for this word says that it combines 'the Latin "gossypium" (cotton) and the Swahili "boma" (place of concealment)'. Now that is truly a bizarre hybrid.

    June 18, 2009

  • very scary!

    June 18, 2009

  • You may be right on the mark, Pro!

    November 4, 2008

  • It sounds to me like a very good way to hide the truth when people read the patient's file.

    (Why do I have a feeling of déjà vu about my comment?)

    November 4, 2008

  • Just stopping by to admire the remarkable specificity of this word.

    November 4, 2008

  • Maybe that's why I'm always thirsty!

    January 15, 2008

  • A surgical sponge accidentally left inside a patient's body.

    January 14, 2008