Ask PoopReport: The Word Feces
"Bobo" wrote in with the following question:
Dear Daphne and Poop Report,
Where did the word feces or faeces come from?
As far as I know, feces is from Latin. I took three years of Latin in high school, and our teacher, Father Shillen, often told us what the "dirty" words meant. He was a brilliant man who spoke nine languages. I believe he told us feces came from the word faex (faecis), which meant "dregs." The dregs could be thought of as either literal, like the stuff left in the bottom of a jug, pot, or wine flask, or figurative, as in the less desirable leftover of any entity, including people. Sooner or later, faecis, the plural, became the better known of the two forms, and people used it to signify dredge.
According to most online etymological dictionaries, the actual term feces (faeces) became officially recognized as poop in the 1600s.
Hopefully, someone will have something to add!