PRONUNCIATION: (tuh-NEZ-muhs, -nes-)

MEANING: noun: A distressing but ineffectual urge to defecate or urinate.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin tenesmus, from Greek teinesmos, from teinein (to stretch or strain). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which also gave us tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, pertinacious, detente, countenance, distend, extenuate, and tenable. Earliest documented use: 1527.

TENNESMUS - a Chattanooga mouse

TETNESMUS - a valiant attempt at spelling the technical name for "lockjaw"

TEES MUS' - the beginning of instructions about what to do after your initial drive on the first hole