stool / feces

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dihydrogen monoxide

Senior Member
Slovene, Serbo-Croat
What would be the connotation and how did it come about? As far as I know only English and Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian associate stool with feces. Are there any other languages where you can use stool with the meaning of feces and how did that semantic shift occur?
 
  • Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In Catalan and Spanish, no connection at all with stools, as far as I know.

    The technical or formal word, equivalent to feces, are femta in Catalan and heces in Spanish.

    In medical contexts, the words generally used are dejeccions in Catalan and deposiciones in Spanish. (Note: it might be another word in the Spanish-speaking Americas)
     

    Armas

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    No connection in Finnish.
    stool (seat) = jakkara, palli, rahi
    stool (feces) = uloste
    chair = tuoli
     

    symposium

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    No connection that I can think of in Italian:
    informal names: cacca, :warning: merda
    medical terms: feci, escrementi
    unrelated to: sgabello (stool)/ sedia (chair)
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    This thread is an eye-opener. I've known both meanings of stool and selle(s) for years but never made any connection between them.

    The only interesting note I can bring is stool as a backless chair is countable, but as feces it is usually uncountable. So it needs another noun attached to it to give it a more precise context and meaning: stool softeners, stool samples, stool deposits.

    That is different in French as des selles (both types) can be plural.
     
    No relation in Greek:

    «Σκατό, -τά» [skaˈtɔ] (neut. nom. sinɡ.), [skaˈta] (neut. nom. pl.) --> shit(s) < Classical 3rd decl. neut. noun «σκῶρ» skôr (nom.), «σκατός» skātós (gen.) --> muck, excrement (PIE *sk-ōr- excrement cf Hitt. šakkar, excrement). It's the vulgar name of excrement.
    «Κακά» [kaˈka] (neut. nom. pl.) --> poop < Classical adj. «κακός, -κή, -κόν» kăkós (masc.), kăkḗ (fem.), kăkón (neut.) --> bad, awful, worthless (of unclear etymology). It's the colloquial name of excrement.
    «Κόπρανα» [ˈkɔ.pra.na] (neut. nom. pl.) --> faeces < Classical fem. noun «κόπρος» kóprŏs --> dung, excrement, ordure, filth (PIE *ḱokʷ-r- dung cf Skt. शकृत् (śakṛt), dung, Lith. šikti, to shit). It's the formal/medical name of excrement.

    Stool:
    -«Σκαμπώ/-ό» (both spellings are common) [skamˈbɔ] (neut.) < Fr. escabeau.
    -«Σκαμνί» [skamˈni] (neut.) < Byz.Gr. neuter diminutive «σκαμνίον» skamníon, of Koine masc. «σκάμνος» skắmnŏs --> small couch, pallet < Lat. scamnus.
    They're used equally and interchanbeably.
     

    dihydrogen monoxide

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    Any idea of how the association came about?

    I recently found out that Slovene also has that phenomenon, albeit with a bit of difference.

    We have a word stolica which is used in medical terms for feces, but its accent falls on the first syllable.
    Yet we also have a word stolica which is hardly used and means chair but its accent falls on the second syllable.

    In the Slovene-Slovene dictionary these words are considered as two separate entries.
     

    momai

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Syria
    No connection in Arabic.
    feces براز buraaz from b-r-z to stand out, to stick out
    or غائط gha'it from gh-w-T to dip into, to immerse
    Those are only the formal words of course.
    chair : كرسي kursi an ancient word in many Semitic languages , supposedly from Sumerian.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In English there is a word where the two meanings seem to oddly reconverge: toadstool, a mushroom regarded as (potentially or definitely) poisonous. I am told that the original meaning was droppings of a toad (a creature traditionally regarded as poisonous and allied to the Devil); but toadstools are often thought of as a place for toads to sit!
    1590507366413.png
     
    Last edited:

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    I recently found out that Slovene also has that phenomenon, albeit with a bit of difference.

    We have a word stolica which is used in medical terms for feces, but its accent falls on the first syllable.
    Yet we also have a word stolica which is hardly used and means chair but its accent falls on the second syllable.
    In Macedonian:

    стол (stól) m. "chair"

    столица (stólica) f.:
    1. "stool", "feces" (medical);
    2. "chair" (dialectal);
    3. In Светата Столица (Svétata Stólica) "Holy See"/"Sancta Sedes", Vatican
     
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