Ancient Greek Words for Excrement

These may or may not be useful in your daily life

Σκῶρ ἀείνων, “ever-flowing shit” (Aristophanes, Frogs, 145-6)

ὁ τῆς διαροίας ποταμὸς, “river of diarrhea” (Aristophanes, Fr. 150.3)



Kakka:  it also has a vulgar meaning as something unclean; especially bad-smelling feces. Aristophanes writes, “holding your nose away from the kakka”.

Κάκκη: ἔχει δὲ καὶ τὸ κακέμφατον. ἡ ἀκαθαρσία, καὶ μάλιστα τὸ δύσοσμον ἀποπάτημα. Ἀριστοφάνης: ἀπὸ μὲν κάκκης ῥῖν’ ἀπέχων.


Some other words

ἀποπάτημα: feces, cf. Photius: “musikelendron: mouse excrement, muokhodon. Μυσικέλενδρον: τὸ τοῦ μυὸς ἀποπάτημα· μυόχοδον.

διαχώρημα: “leavings”; cf. Hesychius: σπατίλη· τὸ ὑγρὸν διαχώρημα: “moist feces”

ἀφόδευμα: “excrement”; cf. Hesychius, kokkilondis: A child’s excrement. κοκκιλόνδις· παιδὸς ἀφόδευμα


Compounds, etc.

Scholia in Aristophanes, Pacem, 24a

“boar and dog”: manure-eating animals

ὗς καὶ κύων: κοπροφάγα τὰ ζῷα.


Necessary Compounds

κοπρόνους: “manure-minded”

κοπράγωγεω: “to collect crap”

κοπρεῖος: “full of crap”

κοπρολογεῖν: “to gather crap”

κοπροφαγεῖν: “to eat crap”

κοπροστόμος: “foul-mouthed”

σκατοφάγος: “shit-eater”

Image result for ancient greek toilet vase

More from the Suda


Ἅλα [usually, salt]

Hala: fecal matter [manure]. In the Odyssey “you wouldn’t even give the shit from your home to a suppliant

Ἅλα: τὰ κόπρια. ἐν Ὀδυσσείᾳ: οὐ σύ γ’ ἐξ οἴκου σῷ ἐπιστάτῃ οὐδ’ ἅλα δοίης.


Bolitos: cow-patty. Attic speakers say this without a beta, the way we say bolbitos

Βόλιτος: Ἀττικοὶ οὕτω λέγουσι χωρὶς τοῦ β, ὅπερ ἡμεῖς βόλβιτον


Deiselea: Fecal matter. For excrement is deisa.

Δεισαλέα: κοπρώδη. δεῖσα γὰρ ἡ κόπρος.


Oniaia: the excrement of a horse. Also, onides, the feces of donkeys which are shaped usefully.

Ὀνιαία: τοῦ ἵππου τὸ ἀφόδευμα. καὶ Ὀνίδες, τὰ τῶν ὄνων ἀποπατήματα, ἃ ἐπίτηδες πεπλασμένα ἐστίν.


onthos: manure. Properly, this is bull-manure.

Ὄνθος: βόλβιτον. τουτέστιν ἡ τῶν βοῶν κόπρος.


Oisêpuros: muddy, greasy as in “oily-fleeces”, wool that is filthy, covered with manure. For oisupê is the excrement of sheep.

Οἰσυπηρός: ῥυπαρός. Ἔρια οἰσυπηρά, ῥύπου πεπληρωμένα, ῥυπάσματα ἀπὸ τῆς κόπρου. οἰσύπη δέ ἐστι τὸ διαχώρημα τῶν προβάτων.


Skôr: manure, feces, it declines using skatos.

Σκῶρ: κόπρος, ἀποπάτημα. καὶ κλίνεται σκατός.


“Phôrutos: manure, or a trash-pile.”

Φωρυτός: κόπρος, ἢ χῶμα.


Image result for ancient greek toilet vase

13 thoughts on “Ancient Greek Words for Excrement

  1. Very useful for us greeks, too!
    Many people in our country do not realize how ancient those wise modern greek word are!!
    We use the word “κακκά for the babys’ poo, and do not know that it is of pure greek origin. I personally thought in my whole life up to my 30’s that it was an adjective in plural, since in modern greek we do not pronounce double consonants as the cypriots or italians do and the plural in neutral of the adjective “κακός ( =bad)sounds identical as “kakka”( up to thenI considered it to mean “bad thing (κακά=κακά πράγματα, exacltly what mothers shout to their babies so they don’t touch their poos!
    At around the age of 30 I happend to read in a german comic book that a mother did the same shouting to her baby (she yelled to him ” nicht, kakka!”. ThenI looked it up and found that it is also written in Aristofanes’s text with this meaning!
    The same happend some years later, asI was looking up the word “scatology” and “scat”: I discovered that the exactly same word was used inancient Greece with the difference tha in modern greek its very common as a dsilycurse only in plural (σκατά-careful, it’ a forbidden word in public!…). So now I laugh every time I hear the sportcasters talking about “the flunctuation of the score in a game (η διακυμανση του σκορ-,we have adopted the word “score” in modern greek, without knowing what it meant some thousand years ago!). So, now I tend to correct the casters every time they refer to s core flunctuation to “the flunctuation of scatós (“scat”, σκατός), = η διακύμανση του σκατός!!!!, as this is the proper genitive for the ancient word σκώρ, “of the σκώρ =του σκατός!)

  2. I forgot to send you my most enthusiactic congratulations as I love getting envolved with languages and especially the greek one!!
    I would also like to correct in the present article the spelling of the modern greek word for diarrhea: “διάρροια” is written with double ρ, (in fact this is the reason why it keeps the double r in english: δια (through) +ρεω( to flow) >> διάρροια. The doubling of the initial ρ was a general and obligatory rule for words which began with ρ in greek: δια+ρεω=διαρρέω (to flow through), α(non)+ρώμη(strength) = άρρωστος (weak, ill,sick). “ρώμη (or “ρώμα” in dorian dialect) meant strength, power, hence Rome (Roma in dorian & italian) meant “powerful city”.
    To me the word “diarrhea” as it’s written and pronounced in english, is (among others) a strong proof against the Erasmian pronunciation of greek (which we do not accept for historical and practical reasons: it sounds completely awkward to modern greeks:
    According to Erasmus’s theory it should be transferred in english or the rest of western languages as “dy-ar-oy-ah” not “dy -r-ee-a”(as he pronounced Τροία as “Troy” , not “Trée-a”, like we do) since his theory claimed that double vowels in greek were pronounced separetely: οι=oh -ee. How come it has been transferred in english as it is pronounced in modern (&ancient ionian) greek (διάρροια= the-área not the-a-róy-a!! It is believed that the same pronunciation of double vowels was also performed in classical Greece, in Athens at the Golden Era of Pericles, the time of Plato and Aristotle or Aristophanes and the tragic writers.. Remember the famous case of the Delphi oracle speaking about the “λοιμος “(epidemy), which the Atheneans confused to the trouble they were facing 30 years later, that is the Great Starvation (λιμός) at the end of the 30year Peloponnesian War.

  3. Thank you! I couldn’t remember words other than kopros when using a database to check for Greek uses of mouse dung today for painful bladders. Works out this is just a Roman thing, but this post helped me be sure of that.

Leave a Reply