EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

Online Search Tools: Stump the Librarian? Maybe Not

Scientists: do you lay awake at night, thinking up how to Stump a Librarian with your latest inscrutable search queries?

Recently I had a reference question about a patient with NASH, and I thought:  “Uh…  Nash…. a stubby car produced by American Motors Corporation in the 1960’s? Nash, as in gnashing your teeth?  Nash, as in John Nash who suffered from schizophrenia but was able to continue working as a mathematician and econ0mist?  NaSH, as in the chemical symbol for Sodium Hydrosulfide?”

It was none of those NASHes.  NASH is not a medical subject heading in PubMed, either.

Thanks to the folks from Text to Knowledge (Text2K), who made my day when I discovered a link to their Acronym Finder.

Here is an example: a search on the term NASH


resulted in this retrieval:

AcronymFinderNASHImage credit:  Courtesy of  Text2Knowledge All rights reserved – Copyright 2009.


NASH stands for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis which, as shown above, can be spelled in a number of different ways.  Nice retrieval!  There is also useful Gene Synonym Finder on the Text2Knowledge site.


A search on an entirely different website, AcronymFinder.com, turned up seven definitions of NASH, one of which was non-alcohol steatohepatitis; another definition was from NASA, which defined NASH as “No Acronyms Spoken Here”.


A search for NASH on the Wordsmyth.net resulted in many suggestions for synonyms, but non-alcoholic steatohepatitis wasn’t on their list.  The search engine is fairly sophisticated, allowing a user to search within one or all of these fields:



Similar Word



Related Word

Image credit:  Courtesy of http://new.wordsmyth.net/ All rights reserved – Copyright 2009

Wordsymth.net also provides a page called Crossword Puzzle Solver… although crossword-purists would disdain using such a crutch.


The Free Dictionary defines itself as “ the world’s m0st comprehensive dictionary, in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian, Greek, Russian, Medical, Legal, and Financial Dictionaries, Thesaurus, Acronyms and Abbreviations, Idioms, Encyclopedia, a Literature Reference Library, and a Search Engine all in one! ”  But there were no hits for Nash or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis at the site.  It did refer me to poet Ogden Nash, however.


Finally, a less scientific glossary is the Australian Slang Dictionary which provides no explanation for Nash, but defines many unique Australian phrases, such as the word Wobbly : excitable behaviour, as in:  “I complained about the food and the waiter threw a wobbly“.

3 responses to “Online Search Tools: Stump the Librarian? Maybe Not

  1. Michelle Kraft August 7, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    Good to know because the first thing I thought of was Nash as in Nash Bridges.

  2. Pingback: Las dificultades de las búsquedas bibliográficas « Biblioteca Médica Virtual – Blog

  3. scaffolding towers August 13, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    Good to see that people still know what they are talking about. So much BS around these days!

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