Stools rush in


Seeing as we’ve already had one post about bodily functions this morning, let’s just say, “Sod off, bumface!” to delicacy and have another. Regarding the unanswered question “Why are stools called stools, as in bowel movement stools?” in the theme tune of yesteryear’s Episode 38, Graham from Canada theorises:

It could be because poo is one of the first things they use to test, if they don’t know what you have, supporting them, like a stool…

Maverick theory, young Graham. But rarely are semantics so abstract, and the origins of this term are rather more prosaic: in Old English the word ‘stool’ referred to thrones and other such fancy seats, but when the French word ‘chair’ then entered the language, ‘stool’ got relegated to armless and backless seats, including those which one sat upon to evacuate one’s bowels. By the fifteenth century, poor old ‘stool’ was applied not only to the pieces furniture, but also the shits produced thereupon.

From throne to poo…oh, the bathos.

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