HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » The DU Lounge (Forum) » The Word ‘Fart' And Its P...

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 02:11 PM

The Word ‘Fart' And Its Puzzling Heritage

Fart looks like a product of our time, but it has existed since time immemorial. Even the nuances have not been lost: one thing is to break wind loudly (farting); quite a different thing is to do it quietly (the now obscure “fisting”). (This fist has nothing to do with fist “clenched fingers” and consequently isn’t related to fisting, a sexual activity requiring, as we are warned, great caution and a lot of tender experience. This reminds me of the instruction Sergei Prokofiev gave to his First Piano Concerto: “Col pugno,” that is ‘with a fist’.)

Both words for the emission of wind (fart and fist) were current in the Old Germanic languages. Frata and físa (the accent over the vowel designates its length, not stress) turned up even in Old Icelandic mythological poems. According to a popular tale, the great god Thor was duped by a giant and spent a night in a mitten, which he took for a house. He was so frightened, as his adversary put it, that he dared neither sneeze nor “fist.” In another poem, the goddess Freyja, notorious for her amatory escapades, was found in bed with her brother and farted (apparently shocked by the discovery).

The words were as vulgar then as they are today. Yet even grammar proves their antiquity. Some verbs (they are called strong) form their principal parts by changing the root vowel, for instance, write/wrote/written, sing/sang/sung. Others (they are called weak) add a dental suffix (d or t) in the preterit and the past participle, for example, beg/begged/begged, look/looked/looked, wait/waited/waited.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/the-word-fart-origins-etymology_n_1721585.html

Time for me to crop dust the hallway at my office...

6 replies, 1446 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Word ‘Fart' And Its Puzzling Heritage (Original post)
zappaman Aug 2012 OP
HopeHoops Aug 2012 #1
MiddleFingerMom Aug 2012 #2
Myrina Aug 2012 #3
turtlerescue1 Aug 2012 #4
panader0 Aug 2012 #5
kurtzapril4 Aug 2012 #6

Response to zappaman (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 02:47 PM

1. "Thou dost farteth" is my preferred term for it.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to zappaman (Original post)

Fri Aug 3, 2012, 01:51 AM

2. I fist in your general direction.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to zappaman (Original post)

Fri Aug 3, 2012, 08:20 AM

3. So that's where the term "like a fart in a mitten" comes from!!

My mom's side of the family is Norwegian and used that term every so often, mostly to describe children who were either quiet or 'vanished into thin air' (off to play or not wanting to be around the grown ups) ...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to zappaman (Original post)

Fri Aug 3, 2012, 10:12 AM

4. so where does "flatulence" come in this at?

Usually you can trace terms in the medical field back to Latin origins.

Frankly it all smells.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to zappaman (Original post)

Fri Aug 3, 2012, 11:53 AM

5. Ever played with a fart machine? Hilarious

My friend had one. There were 8 or 10 different fart noises, short staccato, long windy, wet, and many more.
We hid the machine and when another buddy came over, we hit the remote button while lifting up a bit in the seat.
The guy was disgusted and I laughed my ass off. Something quite funny about "breaking wind".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to panader0 (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 3, 2012, 03:04 PM

6. i grew up with fart jokes

And I have a remote control fart machine, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread