excrement


excrement
   Colloquial speech abounds in references to defecation and associated organs and processes. Until recently they were regarded as a form of obscenity and were taboo in general society, so becoming a powerful mark of communal solidarity within the subgroups (usually male and/or juvenile) which did use them among themselves. Currently, they are freely uttered across a far wider range of society than at any previous period in England. Used in anger, they shock or insult, but they are also often deployed for humorous effects; they are common in minor verbal genres such as riddles, playground rhymes, and limericks, where the humour may consist either in uttering the offensive word or cleverly avoiding it. Many jokes and idioms exist in both a coarse and a polite version - as an expression of incredulity, 'My foot!' is acceptable anywhere, but 'My arse!' is not.
   Beliefs about actual excrement are few. To step accidentally on dog dirt or a cowpat is said to bring good luck, as attested by two 17th-century proverbs: 'muck is luck', and 'shitten luck is the best'. Some say the reason some burglars befoul the scene of their crime is as a charm to ensure they will not be caught
   (N&Q 11s:1 (1910), 296-7).
   In folk *medicine, a poultice of cow-dung in brown paper was used to induce local warmth, for example for easing rheumatic pain. Since at least the early 17th century, it was thought that to throw somebody's excrement into a fire, or plunge hot iron into it, would cause violent bowel pains and fever; mothers were cautioned against harming their babies in this way, while doctors, on the same principle, placed the patient's excrement in cold water to cool a fever. As with *urine in a *witch bottle, the principle could be exploited as a *counterspell (Opie and Tatem, 1989: 141-2). See also *bird droppings.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • excrément — [ ɛkskremɑ̃ ] n. m. • 1534; lat. médiév. excrementum « sécrétion », de excretus, p. p. de excernere « cribler, évacuer » 1 ♦ Vx Matière solide (matières fécales) ou fluide (mucus nasal, sueur, urine) évacuée du corps de l homme ou des animaux par …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • excrement — EXCREMÉNT, excremente, s.n. Materie rezultată din digestie, care se elimină din corpul oamenilor sau al animalelor prin anus; (materii) fecale; murdărie (1). – Din fr. excrément, lat. excrementum. Trimis de ionel bufu, 16.06.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  …   Dicționar Român

  • excrement — EXCREMENT. s.m. Ce qui sort des corps animez. La sueur est un excrement. un excrement superflu, nuisible. l urine & les matieres fecales sont les gros excrements. on tient que l ambre gris est un excrement de la balene, ou un excrement de la mer …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • excrement — [eks′krə mənt] n. [Fr excrément < L excrementum, that which is sifted out, refuse < excretus: see EXCRETE] waste matter from the bowels; feces excremental [eks′krəment′ l] adj. excrementitious [eks′krəmen tish′əs, eks krəməntish′əs] …   English World dictionary

  • Excrement — Ex cre*ment, n. [L. excrementum, fr. excernere, excretum, to skin out, discharge: cf. F. excr[ e]ment. See {Excrete}.] Matter excreted and ejected; that which is excreted or cast out of the animal body by any of the natural emunctories;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Excrement — Ex cre*ment, n. [L. excrementum, fr. excrescere, excretum, to grow out. See {Excrescence}.] An excrescence or appendage; an outgrowth. [Obs.] Ornamental excrements. Fuller. [1913 Webster] Living creatures put forth (after their period of growth)… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Excrement — Excrément Les excréments sont toutes les matières naturellement évacuées par un organisme animal, sous forme solide ou liquide : matières fécales, urine, sueur, etc. Sommaire 1 Un processus biologique essentiel 2 Aspects éthologiques et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • excrement — 1530s, waste discharged from the body, from L. excrementum, from stem of excretus, pp. of excernere to sift out, discharge, from ex out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + cernere sift, separate (see CRISIS (Cf. crisis)). Originally any bodily secretion,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • excrement — [n] feces crap, droppings, dung, guano, manure, poop, sewage, stool, waste, waste matter; concept 260 …   New thesaurus

  • excrement — ► NOUN ▪ faeces. DERIVATIVES excremental adjective. ORIGIN Latin excrementum, from excernere sift out …   English terms dictionary

  • excrément — nm., merde, étron, selle, matière fécale, (d être humain) : MÊRDA nf. (Albanais.001b, Arvillard.228, St Jean Mau., Thônes.004), mérda (001a, Annecy.003, Giettaz, Sevrier) ; KAKA <caque> nf. (001, Épagny, Genève, Mègevette, Morzine.081,… …   Dictionnaire Français-Savoyard