Necessary Words for Public Discourse: Ancient Greek Excrement

After witnessing a certain press conference recently, I feel compelled to re-post this with some additions. I might be adding more.

These may or may not be useful in your daily life

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

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

σφυράδων πολλῶν ἀναμεστή, “full of many shitballs” (Eupolis, fr. 16; see Henderson 1991, 193)

μεμαγμένον σκῶρ ἐσθίειν, —αὐτὴ δ’ ἔματτεν αὐτοῖς, — “to eat the shit-cake she baked for them” (Ar. Wealth, 304)

 

Κάκκη 

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.

Image result for ancient greek defecation

Necessary Compounds

κοπρόνους: “manure-minded”

κοπράγωγεω: “to collect crap”

κόπρειος: “full of crap”

κοπρολογεῖν: “to gather crap”

κοπροφαγεῖν: “to eat crap”

κοπροστόμος: “foul-mouthed”

σκατοφάγος: “shit-eater”

κόπρανα: “excrements”

κοπραγωγός: “shit-bearer”

κοπρία: “dung-heap”

κοπρίζω: “to make dung”

κοπρικός: “full of it”

κοπροθέσιον: “a place where dung is put”. ‘Shit-bucket”

κοπροδοχεῖον: “cess pool”

κοπροποιός: “dung-making”

σκατοφάγος: “shit eater”

σκαταιβάτης: “shit-walker”

σκωραμὶς: “shit pot”; cf. Ar.Lys. 371: σκωραμὶς κωμῳδική: “comedic shitpot”

 

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.

 

Βόλιτος

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

Also, “bullshit”; cf. Henderson 1991, 90

 

Δεισαλέα

Deiselea: Fecal matter. For excrement is deisa.

Δεισαλέα: κοπρώδη. δεῖσα γὰρ ἡ κόπρος.

 

Ὀνιαία

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.

 

Ὄνθος

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

Ὄνθος: βόλβιτον. τουτέστιν ἡ τῶν βοῶν κόπρος.

 

Οἰσυπηρός

Oisupêros: 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.

Σκῶρ

Skôr: manure, feces, it declines using skatos.

Σκῶρ: κόπρος, ἀποπάτημα. καὶ κλίνεται σκατός.

“σκῶρ, shit, expresses definite affective feelings, while κόπρος, dung, refers simply to excrement.” Henderson, The Maculate Muse (1991) 36

Φωρυτός

“Phôrutos: manure, or a trash-pile.”

Φωρυτός: κόπρος, ἢ χῶμα.

For more like this, see J. Henderson, The Maculate Muse. Oxford, 1991.

Image result for ancient greek toilet vase

Callimachus, Epigram 28: I Hate Cyclic Poetry, and Everything Else too…

“I hate the cyclic poem and I don’t enjoy
The road that goes too far this way and that.
I despise as well the loved one who wanders—I
Don’t drink from just any stream: I loathe all common things.
Yes, Lysanius, you are fine—but before I say that clearly
Some Echo says “he belongs to another”.

᾿Εχθαίρω τὸ ποίημα τὸ κυκλικόν, οὐδὲ κελεύθῳ
χαίρω, τίς πολλοὺς ὧδε καὶ ὧδε φέρει•
μισέω καὶ περίφοιτον ἐρώμενον, οὐδ’ ἀπὸ κρήνης
πίνω• σικχαίνω πάντα τὰ δημόσια.
Λυσανίη, σὺ δὲ ναίχι καλὸς καλός—ἀλλὰ πρὶν εἰπεῖν
τοῦτο σαφῶς, ᾿Ηχώ φησί τις• ‘ἄλλος ἔχει.’

This poem, with its original reference to what many scholars consider the poems of the epic cycle has furnished much ammunition to the same scholars who wish to argue that Callimachus (and others) looked down on these poems. To be fair, in this poem Callimachus seems to hate everything–he uses four different ways to express his disdain (and that variation is Hellenistic as anything else). But he seems to be so angry (if we can believe this isn’t just a conceit of a poem) because a pretty boy is already taken…

In the light of unrequited love, doesn’t everything look a bit dimmer and sordid?