Intended for healthcare professionals


When I use a word…: Wool gathering

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 04 October 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:g
  1. Jeff Aronson, clinical pharmacologist Oxford

    We have all seen demented patients plucking at the bedclothes. This action has a name, two names actually: carphology and floccillation.

    Carphology is Greek: καρφoι(karphoi) is bits of twig, straw, or wool, such as birds collect to build a nest, and λ∊γω (lego) means “I gather” (so carphology is not a proper ology (BMJ 1997;314:28). Floccillation means much …

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