Friday 14 November 2008

What does the word Fart mean? Origin and meaning


“Farting, an endless source of humor for men of all ages”, are the words that come to mind when I think of this topic.
Either one accepts the word for what it is, or you avoid it as vulgar, repulsive and offensive. My experience is that very few people have grey areas when it comes to whether this word is acceptable or not. But then there is a vast chasm between on one preaches and what one does.
The fact of the matter is that the word Fart is one of the oldest words in the English language, and it is necessary to have insight to the origin and meaning. My much-used second hand, 60 year old, Oxford Dictionary, (the shorter version that has only 2 hefty volumes), gives the following definition.
“ to send forth as wind from the anus”
“ not in decent use”
‘From Teutonic Feortan/Fertan”
1632 AD.
Now, this unmentionable word was not always considered indecent or vulgar. It would appear that this word was is common use for a long time with no stigma attached. The negative connotation seems to have come about towards the late 1800’s when it was used in a personal context, as in “you old fart” etc. Then it was banned from polite conversation and the printed media, as is the case today.
I am not going to venture into the use of the word, which would be farting around with no logical conclusion.
Having said that, I did see a definition that stated there must be an “audible” sound. If one cannot hear it, is it a fart? Per this definition the answer is “No”, as there is no sound. So, vulgar people fart (with sound), polite people pass wind (no sound).
Lastly, I found a reference to a new term called a “brain fart”, which is a momentary lapse in concentration or occurrence of forgetfulness. Also a period of low achievement. It can also be used to define those instances when the filter between your brain and your mouth malfunctions and you say something uncalled for that has bad results. (Wikipedia).
I could not find an image of a fart to go with this post.
I will most probably regret doing this post.....

2 comments:

Tommy Salami said...

Nice post!!!
I was laughing so hard my wife asked my to quiet down so she could read!

Saurabi said...

laughing out loud, this was my impression when I end to read this post, there's a easy way to avoid this embarrassing situation, take a generic viagra after each meal, this problem will disapear with time.