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Jun 28, 2010
This week's theme
Dirty words

This week's words
coprolalia
scoria
scatology
fimicolous
feculent

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it. This week we do it, by showcasing words related to -- well, if the English language made any sense (as in words include/exclude) -- the opposite of increment.

It may sound like a frivolous topic, but it can be a serious business. Besides the common usage of excrement as fertilizer and fuel, it plays a critical role in the making of a very expensive coffee. At least one war has been fought over it.

We've put together five words to engage in some dirty talk, though in some cases you may have to look closer to see the connection. Use the words of this week to say what you have to, without using any four-letter words.

coprolalia

PRONUNCIATION:
(kop-ruh-LAY-lee-uh)

MEANING:
noun: An uncontrollable or obsessive use of obscene language.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek copro- (dung) + -lalia (chatter, babbling), from lalein (to talk). A related word is coprolite.

NOTES:
Involuntary coprolalia is found in approximately 15% of the people who suffer from Tourette's syndrome. It has even been observed in deaf people who use sign language -- they swear in sign language.

USAGE:
"That the brain's executive overseer is ablaze in an outburst of coprolalia, Dr. Silbersweig said, demonstrates how complex an act the urge to speak the unspeakable may be."
Natalie Angier; Almost Before We Spoke, We Swore; The New York Times; Sep 20, 2005.

See more usage examples of coprolalia in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We perceive when love begins and when it declines by our embarrassment when alone together. -Jean de la Bruyere, essayist and moralist (1645-1696)

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