Speaking of signs, yes, we’ve all done it, “passed gas.” And if you haven’t, then you probably need to see a gastroenterologist ASAP.
I don’t know why I felt compelled to write about this, maybe it’s when I was farting (okay, let’s call it what it is, even though my mother still think it’s a swear word) in bed this morning and my wife and I both giggled like little schoolgirls (okay, truth be told, she giggled like a little schoolgirl, I guffawed like only an uber-He-man can). It reminded me of a relative who told us that her husband doesn’t “pass gas” when she is around. I think for my wife and me, it was one of the first barriers of intimacy we broke even before we got married (okay, maybe not the first, but certainly up there on the list, although she still has a thing about sharing a toothbrush. Whaddya gonna do?).
I also don’t know why I feel compelled to use parenthetical remarks so much either (okay, okay, I do, but I’m not going to tell you). When I once worked for a newspaper in southeastern Pennsylvania, I had a copyeditor who would take out my parenthetical remarks and just include them in the rest of the paragraph. Okay, I guess that’s what I should do, instead of having the comments offset. She was, and is, probably right. God bless you, Liza, wherever you are.
So back to our subject: “passing gas” or farting or tooting or whatever euphemism you and your family call it.
- Main Entry:
- intransitive verb
- Middle English ferten, farten; akin to Old High German ferzan to break wind, Old Norse freta, Greek perdesthai, Sanskrit pardate he breaks wind
- 13th century
often vulgar : to expel intestinal gas from the anus
So there you have it, sans euphemisms, the word dates back to the 13th century and not surprisingly, German food (such as sauerkraut and brautwurst, back to the parenthetical remarks) probably helped in the origins of the words. But as you can see, the Greeks and the Indians also had words for it. I know feta cheese and curry has that effect on me anyway. I also like how good old Merriam-Webster says often vulgar, in italics, as if he’s whispering, and he’s too timid to say the word, and then decides otherwise as he shouts the next part: “TO EXPEL INTESTINAL GAS FROM THE ANUS.” With, of course, that last word echoing around in your head: “ANUS, ANUS, ANUS, ANUS.” (which for us heterosexual males isn’t something we want echoing in our head, thank you, very much). Thanks, Mr. Merriam-Webster.
I could belabor this subject, and talk about how just earlier this week, while out with some friends, I had to sneak around the corner to “pass gas” so I’d be out of their hearing and discreetly look around to make sure no one else was within earshot, but I think I’ve said enough for one day on the subject of gas. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll turn to the subject of another kind of gas, gasoline and those sons-of-bitches in the Middle East and the Texas high-rises who are gouging us at the pump. Until then, I’ll leave this another unfinished rambling…
…or not: later today after I had written this post, I was talking to that relative and she mentioned to me that her husband “held it” for four hours on a trip for a job interview that she accompanied him. Instead of “letting it rip” in the car with her, he let it go in the lobby of the place. Luckily, he was there on a Sunday for the interview and nobody was there.
And oh, she said they’ve been married six years and he still hasn’t “passed gas” in her presence. She said she jokes with him that it’s because he’s so uptight.
And continuing on the same subject: came across this while did a “tag surf” on WordPress: