When it comes to defecating, how would you describe your actions?

< Previous | Next >

nagomi

Senior Member
Korean
1. In my language, we have an expression of 'applying force to one's stomach or anus', but I've never heard of something similar in English.
By 'applying force', I mean you need to flex your muscle in one way or another to help your anal muscle's work.

2. Other than "to poop", what do you call the action in real life and in a formal setting? If you need to be specific, of course, normally there won't be a chance you would have to though.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    In formal settings, I say: "I have to see a man about a horse." In informal settings, I don't discuss these things. :)

    Seriously, I would need to know the exact situation and need before I could hazard a guess. We have previous threads on the general subject you might like to search for.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    This website explains it this way:

    Once you are in the bathroom, you relax the puborectalis muscle and both the internal and external sphincters. Then, to propel the stool downward, you increase pressure in the abdominal cavity through the Valsalva or "bearing down" maneuver -- closing off the airway, tightening the abdominal muscles, and pushing the diaphragm down.

    No mention of seeing a man about a horse, Copyright! :D
     
    This website explains it this way:

    Once you are in the bathroom, you relax the puborectalis muscle and both the internal and external sphincters. Then, to propel the stool downward, you increase pressure in the abdominal cavity through the Valsalva or "bearing down" maneuver -- closing off the airway, tightening the abdominal muscles, and pushing the diaphragm down.
    Wow! However did we all learn to take a cr*p without reading the manual?;)

    The first clause could have been a tad more specific.:D
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    In what 'formal' setting would we need to even mention pooing, let alone go into an anatomical description of how to do it? If a person is constipated they take a product to make the bowel motions pass more easily, they don't get a lesson on how to do it.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    'Straining' is the word generally used for difficulty in expelling stool (constipation). But maybe that's what nagomi is referring to. I wouldn't use it for 'normal' bowel movements.
     
    Last edited:

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    1) Could "straining" possibly mean "straining to keep one's anal sphincter shut and not poop in one's undies"?

    2) In AE, we say "I('ve) gotta see a man about a horse." (sometimes shortened to "Gotta see a man.") meaning "I('ve) gotta take a piss/...micturate :D."

    And we don't say it in the bathroom/loo/john, but in the bar before going there, especially if there aren't any ladies around.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think you can talk of "opening one's bowels", which means "defecating", but may also convey the idea of "consciously making the sphincter muscle work".

    It sounds a bit old-fashioned, so it would do for any "formal" use that you seem to be able to imagine, nagomi, and I can't.

    Back in post #2, Copyright asked about what kind of situation this might be used for. Might this be for use in hospital or when talking to your doctor? Please clarify.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top