The Top Ten: 'True' meanings of medicines

Thanks to Peter Metcalfe for the idea of translating the mysterious language of pharmacology…

John Rentoul
Saturday 03 October 2015 17:08
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1. Perindopril and Finasteride

Naughty fairies from a Tchaikovsky ballet. From Peter Metcalfe.

2. Lansoprazole

An unperformed opera by an unknown 18th-century Italian composer. Peter Metcalfe again.

3. Atorvastatin

The secret police of a former Soviet central Asian republic.

4. Beta-interferon

Used to deliberately disrupt the final development stage of new tech. Thanks to Graham Moonie-Dalton.

5. Zyban

A minor villain in The Tempest. Nominated by someone calling themselves Bishop of Bath & Wells (or Moralweakness).

6. The Xanax sequence

Mid-1970s sci-fi epic, a novel in three parts. From Dougal.

7. Statin

A shiny, silky fabric that gives you a nasty shock when you touch it. Translated by Bertha Mason.

8. Valium

A heroic metal. The B of B&W, aka MW again.

9. Esipram

A vehicle for small children that doesn't take the top of your finger off when you fold it up to put it in the car, according to Bertha Mason.

10. Aspirin

Would-be RAF types (Malcolm Redfellow), or the type of internationally renowned manager Alf Ramsey was when appointed by the FA in 1963 (Adrian Brodkin).

Next week: Animal noises in other languages

Coming soon: Unanswered questions in songs ('Who Let the Dogs Out?'). Send your suggestions, and ideas for future Top 10s, to top10@independent.co.uk

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