• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

Heymatt:

Why do we call urination pee and defecation poop?

-- Too embarrassed to sign his name

Okay, I swear this is the last poop question we'll handle until, well, until we get another one. They seem to come in batches.

We get pee from the French. Well, we get the word pee from the French. Via the British, if the word-history guys can be believed. Pissier is the French verb. Which became "piss" in English, shortened to "pee" (the first letter) late in the 1800s. We get poop from Middle English. "Poupen" was a Chaucer-era word that was imitative of a "gulping sound," according to those same demented word historians. Somehow gulping and defecation sounded the same to somebody 600 years ago, and the word was borrowed. "Poop" is also a structure on the stern of a boat, but the word guys don�t see any connection with the poop in question here. Not satisfied? Hey, you ask 'em; I just pass along the ridiculous stories the word wizards tell.

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

Comments

Sign in to comment

Win a Pair of Tickets to
the Del Mar Races

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!

Close