poop
Posted: 17 October 2007 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Several dictionaries and an etymological dictionary I looked at did not even have an entry for ‘poop’ meaning feces. Knowing ‘poop deck’ from Latin puppis is the rear of the ship, I wonder if there’s a connection e.g. you hang off the rear to poop or you poop from the rear of you.
To be pooped = exhausted has ‘origin unknown’ but I thought I had read somewhere that a ship that is pooped is one that has foundered when hit in the poop by a following wave.
Given the expertise of many members of this forum, I am prepared to be swatted down or ignored, but an answer would be nice, too, even if it is to direct me to a good source.

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Posted: 17 October 2007 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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A good source.

Back in the days of sail, when sailors pooped over the side, they usually did so at the front of the ship, hence the naval term “head” for bathroom.  Ships would typically sail with the wind behind them, so pooping off the poop deck would result in shit being blown against the stern of the ship.  The poop deck was often the roof of the captain’s cabin; I doubt that any crewman who relieved himself there would find himself in good odor with the captain.

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Posted: 17 October 2007 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Dr. Techie - 17 October 2007 07:10 PM

...........  The poop deck was often the roof of the captain’s cabin; I doubt that any crewman who relieved himself there would find himself in good odor with the captain.

Nelson: (glancing through his windows aft) Hardy, have we had any reports of giant seagulls in this region?

Hardy: None that I am aware of, Sir.

Nelson: I thought as much. Damn their eyes! I’ll keelhaul’em, by God!

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Posted: 17 October 2007 11:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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When I was a child, my mother (brought up genteelly in SW Essex in the 1930s) would use “doing poops” as a nursery term, not for excretion but for breaking wind. It’s obvious onomatopoeia, but I don’t know if it was something she remembered from her own childhood. Has anyone else come across this usage, or is it purely a family word?

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Posted: 18 October 2007 01:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’ve personally never come across ‘poop’ as a term for any bodily function other than faecal excretion so it may be a family word, or a localism. My Mum’s euphemism for farting was ‘making a rude smell’, faeces was ‘big job’ and a number of other people used ‘number two’.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I would say it’s just an archaism, and not so very old.  Check out the AHD etymology I link to above, which derives (with the qualifier “possibly") the fecal sense of “poop” from an earlier usage meaning “to break wind”.

The OED simply considers these meanings two senses of the same word, and doesn’t even give them separate subheadings:

3. slang (orig. nursery). An act of breaking wind or of defecation; (concr.) faeces; (fig.) nonsense.
1888 Stag Party 193 When Alcy pooped, the poop was mostly tallow. 1937 E. PARTRIDGE Dict. Slang 648/2 Poop,..a breaking of wind. ...

That, BTW, is from the 2007 draft revision, so it presumably reflects up-to-date research.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The Afrikaans word is “poep”, pronounced with a short “oo” as in “took”.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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No doubt it is from Dutch ‘poepen’. ‘Poep’ is used for ‘feces’ as well as for ‘fart’, but then usually as a diminutive: ‘poepje’.

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Posted: 20 October 2007 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Sort of like Philip Marlowe, who didn’t mean to be tall, I didn’t mean to be away so long. I am “foolscap” sorry to say. I’ve managed to misplace my password under that name. Many helpful and informative discussions along the way, here.

Dutchtoo- Don’t the Flemish use “poepen” to mean something else, along the lines of what is done in the red-light district?

[ Edited: 20 October 2007 05:26 PM by Iron Pyrite ]
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Posted: 20 October 2007 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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From foolscap to fool’s gold, eh?  Welcome back!

Dave might be able to help you access your old account, if you contact him.

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Posted: 21 October 2007 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Good to have you back, Foolscap! You got me worried there for a while. And yes you’re right, in some Flemish dialects ‘poepen’ means to fuck. However, when they use standard Dutch (like in TV or movie sub-titles), they maintain the same meanings as we do. In other words, when translating the f-word, ‘poepen’ is never used.

[ Edited: 21 October 2007 10:17 AM by Dutchtoo ]
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