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Word of the Day
Thursday, October 26, 2017

Definitions for sawbones

  1. Slang. a surgeon or physician.

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Citations for sawbones
"There's a couple o' sawbones downstairs." "A couple of what!" exclaimed Mr. PIckwick, sitting up in bed. "A couple o' sawbones," said Sam. ... "I thought everybody know'd as a sawbones was a surgeon." Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1837
My wife complains of a pain in her hip and a swelling there, so in the end I send for a sawbones, one Daniel Behenna, who has the reputation of being an acceptable member of his useless profession. Winston Graham, Bella Poldark, 2002
Origin of sawbones
The etymology of sawbones is appallingly familiar to anyone who has seen photos from the Civil War or Gone with the Wind. The word is relatively modern, first appearing in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers (1837).