When I was a Cardiology fellow at UMass Medical Center, there was a technician who would use a certain word to mean “a little”. It sounded like /a ditzle/. I never asked her how it was spelled and later when I tried to look for the spelling in dictionaries, I never found it. The context would be something like: “Can you see any regurgitation on the screen?”, “Just a “ditzle”, meaning “very little”. My question is: does such a word exist at all? If so, how do you spell it? Or is it some sort of slang or baby talk?
Edit (after accepting @Tim Romano’s answer) – The ultrasound technician I mentioned above had worked at Radiology. I bet she incorporated the word into her vocabulary, meaning something very small.
According to David A Cory (emphasis mine),
Although not found in Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, the term ditzel is universally recognized among radiologists as a very small nodule found in the lung. … The origins of this word are obscure. The only similar word I could find, ditz, emerged in the 1970s to describe a silly or inane person, and it seems unlikely that ditz morphed into ditzel. Even though ditzel does not appear in any dictionary, the word has been used in at least one article in the medical literature, specifically in the Yellow Journal.
The original citation from Cory in his blog post:
Mundsen RF, Hess KR. “Ditzels” on Chest CT: Survey of Members of the Society of Thoracic Radiology. AJR 2001; 176:1363-1369.