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Diabetes Terms of Endearment: Third Edition.

Diabetes Terms of Endearment:  Third EditionPeople living with and caring for diabetes have their own special language; it's a language that includes terms like "no-hitter" and "tsunami" that people without diabetes wouldn't understand, but those with it nod their heads and say "Yup.  Same here."  This dictionary is compiled from input from the fabulous diabetes community and is definitely a collaborative effort. 

Bring on the dTOES (Diabetes Terms of Endearment): Third Edition!!

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A1C twins
Two PWDs having the same A1C within the same week of endo appts

"Are You Unplugged?"
How to intimately ask if your partner has unhooked his/her pump site.  A way of subtly asking if it's sexy time.

Baby Bear number
When your number is in target, or juuuuuust right
ex. “It's almost time for lunch, go ahead and do a stick. What'd you get? Hey, great, you're Baby Bear!”


The act or process of working out kinks in the basal rates 
ex.  “I was up half the night basaling.” or “We're skipping breakfast today because we're basaling.”

Bat Belt
The belt of a PWD (person with diabetes) who has all their diabetic accoutrements worn about their waist.  May include insulin pump, Dexcom receiver, and that grappling hook thing Batman uses to climb over buildings.

The oral version of the abbreviation "BG" (for "blood glucose")  
ex.  “I’m checking my beeg!”

Bionic parts
A method of referring to diabetes technology instruments.  These items are often found on the aforementioned "Bat Belt."

Food that is enticing enough that we'd take a ton insulin for it, despite any blood sugar results
ex. “That chocolate-covered cupcake looks bolus-worthy

aka "Blood sugar brain," the fog, agitation that seems to last all day and affects everything after a bad low or high blood sugar

Buddy Batteries

AAA Energizer pump batteries solely reserved for use in diabetes devices.  A lack of Buddy Batteries may result in an incident of D-Postal.

Case of the Ms
When your continuous glucose monitor graph looks like giant M's.  (Editor's note:  M's or W's.)

Case of the Shakies
A low blood sugar episode that causes shakiness

aka "Crappy Diabetes Day", when your blood sugar goes from 43 mg/dl in the morning, to 37 mg/dl an hour later, to 243 mg/dl at noon, to 321 mg/dl at 3 pm, back to 54 mg/dl at dinner, plus you might have an occlusion as well just to top things off.  See also: Gluco-coaster

The bolus given when a PWD consumes a copious amount of food to treat a low blood sugar

A cuter way to reference a blood sugar check.  
ex.  “Time to checka your blood, mommy?”

When you have to pull every single device out, from cell phone to CGMs, to figure out which one is beeping, buzzing, or just being a general pain in the arse. (It also applies to having to pull the same device out twice in 30 seconds)

D'Ambien experience
One of those middle of the night lows where you can't remember what you ate or drank, or how much, as well as any conversations you had. Quite similar to someone's night who takes Ambien.

Term applied to people who just don’t "get" diabetes

The mother of a kid with diabetes, taking the disease on as their own.  See also:  Surrogate Pancreas


The act of lashing out as a result of societal misunderstandings of diabetes.  
ex. "You can’t possibly understand how hard it is living with diabetes, so I’d advise you to step down before I start beating you with my pump and a fist full of glucose tabs."

A PWD who does something awesome that non-badasses think diabetes should stop them from doing (e.g. having babies, biking across the country, playing in the NFL). See also: most members of the DOC


The language of managing this madness! See also: all three editions of Diabetes Terms of Endearment


A real life friend who also happens to have diabetes, too

(can be an adjective, noun or verb) A prefix applied to any word when diabetes impacts said word.  Examples include "diafail," "diawin," and "diabadass."  Often found as Twitter hashtags and in the Clara Barton Camp dining hall conversations.
ex.  "I can't believe I forgot to bolus for the seven pancakes I ate for breakfast ... diafail!"

Those diabetes-related secrets that you have never told anyone

The anniversary of your diagnoses date, (aka the time you stick it to diabetes no matter what the blood glucose number is.  ex “We're having cake for dessert to celebrate your diaversary. You're 250? Then we'll just have to bolus extra.")

Disco Boobs
When a pump is hidden between a PWDs breasts, that moment of when it lights up and starts beeping, giving the chest area a look not unlike a disco ball.  See also: Iron Man

aka "The D-Oh-Sh*t bag," the bag where a PWD carries around all of their emergency supplies (it goes everywhere) - extra infusion sets, insulin, extra strips, back up meter, juice, tabs, Glucagon, etc

Double Downing
When your continues glucose monitor graph has two down arrows, telling you you’re dropping fast

Double Rainbow Day
Means a line on the continuous glucose monitor that is inexplicably good and deserves ecstatic celebration.  See also:  What does it MEAN?

aka #dsma aka Diabetes Social Media Advocacy.  Refers to a Twitter chat that takes place every Wednesday night at 9 pm ET, where members of the diabetes online community talk about diabetes lifestyle issues


When your pump is still lit up inside your shirt

Any form of physical activity, which most often effects blood sugar levels directly.  Such activities that may affect blood sugars include running, tennis, shopping, sexy moments, parking your car, lifting a pencil, and sometimes just the mere thought of exercise.

When your blood sugar is holding steady as seen on a continuous glucose monitor graph (see also: no-hitter)

When an old pump site is on the left side of your backside and you place the new one on the right, leaving the bum looking like Frankenstein’s neck with the bolts sticking out

Free Shower Day
Taking a shower on the day that your infusion set and/or CGM sensor are being swapped out, leaving your skin site-free

A crazy CGM graph.  Antonym:  no-hitter

Diabetic version of a hangover. Is the after-affect of a bad late night low. Most often includes headaches and a bad taste of old orange juice and decaying glucose in your mouth. Cracker and candy wrappers and empty containers of food are often found lying around the person who is having the glucover. Most remedies include: brushing of the teeth, heavy applications of makeup to remove bags under eyes, Tylenol, and healthy binge eating.

Hard Low
There is a low and then there is a HARD LOW.  Most often coupled with standing with the refrigerator door open, eating the majority of a pound cake, and washing it down with half a bottle of grape juice.  Often followed by a Chaser

When going about normal, everyday life and an inanimate object jumps out and grabs at an infusion set tubing, resulting in pain and/or cursing and/or the pulling out of said infusion set

Huge Ass Bolus, usually taken in conjunction with huge ass meal

The name my family calls me since my daughter regularly follows me through the house carrying crackers in her hand, saying "Insulin, Mama!"

Another term for "insulin pump"

Lazy River Ride
An in-target CGM graph.  See also: flat-liner and no-hitter

The act of standing quietly while low trying to hide a low blood sugar "lean" and someone notices you slightly tipping over

Liver Dump
When your blood glucose rebounds after a hard low (usually one in the 40s or below)
ex. "Hey, Mr. Liver ... thanks for the help, but it is a little too much and a little too late."

Make a Ladybug
To form that giant drop of blood that the old glucose meters used to require

Morning Boost
Refers to drinking coffee and the subsequent blood glucose spike the caffeine offers up

When a D'Rent feeds their young child glucose tabs or a sugar source

A time period in which a diabetic does not hit their high or low threshold on their CGM. For a Dexcom user, they must be without any alarms during the entire day, and the day must be at least 24 hours. A diabetic who prevents their blood sugars from reaching a threshold is said to have "bolused a no-hitter."

No-No Cupboard
Where you (or your mom) keeps all your diabetes snacks that are off limits to others

The glucose reading on the meter.  "Number" no longer refers to a phone number, jersey number, or the number you’re holding in line at the deli counter

On the Rise

When you're blood sugar has been low for so long, and then FINALLY shows signs of coming back up ex. "72. Thank goodness! I'm on the rise!"

Lancing device, also known as a "pokey"

Pump Envy

The feeling of T2/1'ers who are taking insulin injections 4+ times per day but do not qualify to receive a pump due to insurance issues or having a MiniMed or Animas or whatever-brand but coveting another brand or newer model


What to do when you see a dessert that you just can’t resist (while simultaneously doing the raise-the-roof gesture)

aka "Shitty Diabetes Day."  May include any of and more than the following: feeling terrible due to blood sugar fluctuations, running out of low blood sugar treatment methods, needing to skip exercise due to blood sugar issues, and any and al instances that lend towards a "Diabetes: 1; Me: 0" day.

Sleep Treating
The act of bolusing, changing basal rates, or silencing ones CGM in the middle of the night without actually waking up to do so…(makes for interesting mornings…)

When ‘blood sugar test’ gets to be a mouthful

Sugar Baby
A name to call someone with diabetes, such as your daughter

Sugar Bloods
A more fun way to say blood sugar (especially with a southern accent)

Sugar Buddies
When you and another both have diabetes.  See also:  Diabuddies

Sugar Hang
The horrible headache that comes after a bad low or high

When you get sugar on your fingers after treating a low which results in a falsely high re-check


A result of over treating a serious low blood sugar
ex. "Blood sugar at 38 mg/dl, can't hardly walk, grab the quart of OJ, not following the 15 rule. Result: two hours later a Tsunami blood sugar of 300 mg/dl.


What spews from our mouth when our blood sugar is off the charts high and we are less than sweet

"What’s off Limits?"
How to intimately ask where your partner’s pump site/continuous glucose monitor are located on the body
Winter Muted
When a pump or continuous glucose monitor is concealed under so many layers of clothes, its beeps are inaudible

Safe word for “check your sugar” if you’re acting bitchy during a low blood sugar moment
(Editor's note:  Sounds like it could be "Wood-ya-chuck your blood sugar?"  PUNS!)

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The first edition of dTOEs can be found on the old SUM blog, and the second edition can be found here. A compilation eBook will be available soon, with all three editions (and some bonus new terms) included!  Should be up in a few days.  Thanks to everyone for their input, and for Abby's help in compiling this edition.  :)


Love this! Husband refers to his pump as his "tail." Especially when he is getting in and out of bed.

Oh my, some of these are hilarious... and most of these are like "yup, exactly" LOL


I love having our own "secret" language.

Thanks Kerri, Abby the person, and all who contributed. These are great!

These are awesome! Sidenote: on Mother-Birding
it should be "their" not "there."

Ooh, I like this. And I swear, if one more D-Dumb person volunteers negative information regarding the big D, I will go D-Postal.

Hysterical! Thanks for sharing!

I submitted the Tsunami example.... I have to share a story...

I was at my Endo's office and I was reviewing my BS with the CDE. She asked, "what happen here?". I explained. She laughed her ass off.

Then at my next appointment the CDE told me how another patient (newly diagnosed) did not understand the effects of not following the 15 minute rule. But, when she told him about the Tsunami Comparison Effect He got it.

Hmm. "Diabetonese" sounds like the language spoken by a hyperglycemic from Kwangzhou(? what's the origin of "Cantonese" Chinese?). Here, it's "Diabetese" -- like "computerese", "hamese" (amateur radio operators' shorthand), "Trekese" (as opposed to "Trekkies"), etc.


Forgot to mention Rage Bolus. After I've been trying to correct my blood sugars for several hours, in desperation I rage bolus and end up with a low of 40 followed by a Tsunami correction!

OMG, I have been cluster-beeping all day. Somehow it's funny now that I have words for it.

Bernard - Dude, we had "Rage Bolus" on the original list. These were all new terms. Compilation eBook will have them ALL, though! :D

Duh, I guess being low doesn't help while commenting on a blog post. Now what's the term for that?? :-)

your site is amazing. I remember going to tower st. when you and Ryan were so young. Congrats on your baby it must have been tough. Ryan has come such a long way controlling his diabetes. I am so impressed with how you are both so contious of your health and yet it can be so frustrating. I still worry so much about him., But as an adult now he is doing so well. It is an every day struggle. Leanne has taken on a big challenge. It can be difficult on a day to day basis. I thank God for her every day. Ryan, like you has been dealing with this for 20 yrs. I am kinda out of the loop now because everything has advanced so much. And he is so knowledgeable and so is Leanne. Love reading your blogs and hearing that you are taking charge of your diabetes as is Ryan. It would be so much easier to say "f it". You all have my support and admiration. As parents we couldn't have asked for more. So proud of your commitment to the cause and to your strength in not giving up. Keep up the good work. You are all an inspiration to everyone who has to deal with something as difficult as this. It can only get easier with peo0le like you , ryan and leanne supporting the cause!!

"Exercising" LOVE IT! I swear the tighter my control, the more often things like walking through the grocery store causes "Double Downing" :-)

a favorite term in our house is "carb-o-licious"... when a meal is higher in carbs than average... usually due to items added, such as a milkshake

hahaha My fav was "Are you unplugged?" to ask if it's sexy time. CRACK ME UP!

Don't know if this one's "publishable" or not, but I refer to the lancet as "My best friend, the Little Prick".

My favorites are H.A.B. and Free Shower Day! free Shower day is like the onbly time we are ever totally naked!! :-)

As an Educator with out diabetes I use this one quite often in clinic:

"Oh, you use a SWAG"... after a confused look, we talk about the accronym for a S-sophisticated, W-wild, A-"a_ _ (you can guess), G-guess as a method used to figure out a bolus amount.

S.W.A.G. Scientific Wild Ass Guess often in conjunction with a H.A.G.

Matt, Simon's dad

Well done...and hilarious as usual. My favorite new dTOE is "Case of the Ms."

Leave it to our evolving tool kit to produce that one!

FANTASTIC! I don't know how I missed this Kerri. Great compilation.

hey kerri. i'm working on a local diabetes art/info type project. i'm calling it our T1D Owner's Manual. it will have info, tips, tricks, drawings, poems, etc submitted (mostly) by our local T1D community. anyways, i was wondering if i could use a selection of your diabetes terms of endearment in this project? SUM would get credit of course. it's going to be a totally free collaboration, anyone who wants a copy will get one for free :D let me know.. thanks!

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