"do a crap"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jun 5 20:22:28 UTC 2014

FWIW, here's some independent evidence for the noun's existence with this sense prior to 1898, from Farmer & Henley, since I have it out anyway.  Their entry, in Volume II (C-Fizzle), has a publication date of 1891 (if I have my Roman numerals correct) and includes three senses for "crap" as a substantive, the third of which reads

3. (printers')--Type that has got mixes; technically known as 'pi.' [Here compared to excrement.]

Curiously, there's no entry for substantive "crap" = 'excrement', although the verb entry 'to ease oneself by evacuation' is listed as "common" (OED has the verb from 1874), with a cross-reference to the entries at "Bury a Quaker" and "Mrs. Jones".


On Jun 5, 2014, at 3:56 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> OED/HDAS have _crap_ 'a defecation,' from Wright's EDD of 1898, though
> Wright seems to give no actual citation.
> So this early ex. might be useful:
> 1910 _Proceedings of the Old Bailey_ [
> http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t19100208-41a&div=t19100208-41a&terms=crap#highlight]:
> All right, governor, I only came over here to do a crap. ...I simply got
> over the gateway for a natural purpose. I am innocent.
> Note that British usage has customarily been to "do" a crap; American is
> "take" or "have" one.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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