The farmer and the donkey in the dung pit

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  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It doesn't seem to have been written by a very competent writer - perhaps a non-native speaker.

    I don't see anything wrong with "dung-pit". It's a pit where they throw dung. There seems to be some confusion between "dung-pit" and "well". It can't be both, but it may be that the farmer decided to turn an unused well into a dung-pit.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    It doesn't seem to have been written by a very competent writer - perhaps a non-native speaker.

    I don't see anything wrong with "dung-pit". It's a pit where they throw dung. There seems to be some confusion between "dung-pit" and "well". It can't be both, but it may be that the farmer decided to turn an unused well into a dung-pit.

    I checked out the definition for "dung":solid waste from animals, especially cattle and horses. (Cambridge Dict)

    In some countryside in developing countries, there are pits into which farmers not only throw animals' waste, but also throw human feces. Do such pits also called dung pits?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    In some countryside in developing countries, there are pits into which farmers not only throw animals' waste, but also throw human feces. Do such pits also called dung pits?
    They could be. There are other words for more sophisticated arrangements where human waste is disposed of or held for collection, in areas where there is no modern sewage system. If it's just an open hole in the ground where the farmer throws human and animal waste, (presumably to be used later as fertiliser) then "dung-pit" might be a good term for it.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    If it's just an open hole in the ground where the farmer throws human and animal waste, (presumably to be used later as fertiliser) then "dung-pit" might be a good term for it.
    Yes, particularly used as fertiliser, esp. in remote area or deep in forests.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The usual English word for this was a midden - a pile of dung and other rubbish which (if the people were wise) might later be used for fertiliser. There used to be a midden in the last century against one part of my house which was then a cowshed. I can see from the stain on the stones that this was a pile above ground level, so the story of the donkey could never work here. I think it comes from some other part of the world - the Middle East perhaps?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Dung-pit is acceptable - it has an entry in the OED.

    Cess-pit is possible, but now this is used mainly in reference to human waste.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    My sister's first husband was a farm boy. His family had a manure pile out behind the barn.
    There were two forms of manure in rural area of developing countries: one is piles, the other is a pit. It seems not proper to call a pit of manure.

    A cess-pit contains sewage water, which is not manure (for example, detergent-containing sewage water is harmful to crops). A cesspool seems to be the larger form of a cesspit. Yet the content of a dung pit is sure pure manure.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    In BE the content of a dung pit is dung. One form of manure is dung that has been broken down by the action of worms, insects, bacteria and fungi sufficiently to be used as a fertiliser for fields or gardens.
     
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