The Complete Scoop on “Poop”

Consider how odd this sounds: I person walks into a pet shop and asks the clerk, “In which aisle will I find the doggy bowel movement bags?” Or, imagine a guy standing outside a portable toilet at a football game, “Hurry up, Ron, I have to defecate really bad.” Or, a neighbor says, “If I find your dog’s excrement in my yard again, I’m calling the home owners association!” Thank goodness, around 1965, the word “poop” came into common usage. The dictionaries aren’t sure about its origin, and the word is used in other ways, such as “I’m pooped, I’m going to take a break up on the poop deck.” Why am I writing about this? Because it occurred to me that the word poop has come into common usage more often than ever, even by medical professionals. I’ve had doctors ask me, “How often do you poop every day.” And, a nurse once told me, “You know, after surgery, we never let anyone leave the hospital until we are sure they can poop.”Poop Bag I used the word without hesitation in an early chapter of my book, “Roy and Kitty” when Roy explained how his status in the family was elevated once he “learned not to poop in the house.” I had a slight concern that some overly prudent parent might take issue, but we all know “poop” is one of the first words babies learn, right after dada, wah, and coo. I’ve had my share of conversations with medical professionals over the years, and I have become quite comfortable using this terminology instead of the awkward, clinical jabber. It’s arguably a more pleasant word than any of the annoying synonyms. Feces sounds yucky. Crap is primitive and crude. Nobody knows what ordure means, except the dictionary which defines ordure as excrement, which is the stinkiest of all the synonyms. Dung is just dumb. So, we’ll go with poop. In the pet store, the doctor’s office, the neighbor’s yard. Such a versatile little word. And, spelled backwards, it comes out the same.

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