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Shrink Is Slang for Psychiatrist


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • shrink: short for headshrinker; slang for psychologist or psychiatrist
  • psychiatrist: a doctor with a specialization in mental health; can prescribe medication
  • psychologist: one who has a degree in psychology (may do research or clinical work); usually is not licensed to prescribe medication
  • term of endearment: a name that shows one’s admiration or love for someone
  • ego: one’s sense of self importance
  • alleviate: to remove something troubling or painful

Shrink Is Slang for Psychiatrist

The word shrink is for psychiatrist or psychologist. Like the word shark, which is slang for lawyer, the word shrink has negative connotations. Shrink is the short form of headshrinker. Headshrinking was an ancient tribal practice observed in the Amazon rainforest. A warrior would take an enemy’s head as a trophy after a battle. A special was used to shrink the head and prevent the spirit of the dead from taking revenge. Some historians believe that the word shrink has a different origin in relation to psychotherapy. At one time, the role of a psychotherapist was to shrink a person’s ego. Today, professionals work on shrinking their patients’ or clients’ problems and alleviating trouble in the. When someone says, “I have to go and see my shrink tonight,” it could be considered a term of endearment.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What is shrink slang for?
  2. Why does the report mention a shark?
  3. In what way could the word shrink be considered a term of endearment?

Discussion Questions: What other slang words are used for jobs and professions? Do all of these words have a negative connotation?

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