Ask PoopReport: The Word Feces

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"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!

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2 Comments on "Ask PoopReport: The Word Feces"

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

I find it interesting that many words of Nordic origin entered our language during the Danelaw period when parts of England were under Nordic sway.(886–954)

I spent most of the year of 1961 in Keflavik,Iceland and had several close Icelandic friends. They thought it was hilarious when the USAF built a skeet range to accommodate shooting enthusiasts. It seems that skeet is the Icelandic word for shit.

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

I love that! So they read that we had a Shit-shooting range!

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

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