turd

Definition

Slang

  • noun a piece of excrement. A descendant of the Anglo-Saxon word tord, the term was freely used until about the 17th century, by which time it was being avoided in polite speech and writing. It is still considered vulgar by many speakers, although, when referring e.g. to dog droppings, it is now sometimes used even in broadcasts.

Origin & History of “turd”

Turd is an ancient word, traceable right back to Indo-European *drtom. this was formed from the base *dr-, *der- ‘flay, tear’ (source also of English tear), and so etymologically denoted that which is ‘separated’ from the body, like flayed skin, and hence ejected or excreted from the body. It passed into English via prehistoric Germanic *turdam. A distant relative is Latvian dirsti ‘defecate’.
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