Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 26 21:40:49 UTC 2007

I once heard a woman say, "take a dump." It sounded gross.
Fortunately, I've not had the displeasure of hearing a woman use any
of the other forms. That may seem a little prissy, but, once upon a
time, even hearing a woman say, "I have to go to the bathroom,"
grossed me out. The only proper usage for women for me, at one time,
was, "Excuse me."


On 9/26/07, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Whiz
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> OK, a person (at least a male; do the same expressions commonly refer to female activities of the corresponding sort?) can "take a X"; X can be "whiz" or "leak" or "piss" or "pee" or "shit" or "dump" or "dooky" or possibly other eliminations of a nether sort--but NOT *"turd" or *"urine."
> The object of "take" designates an action (an act of X-ing), not just the substance deposited. Even though the permissible X's are clearly nouns (preceded by the definite article), the allowable X words can, in other environments, function as verbs, whereas "turd" and "urine" can't.
> There must be exceptions or outright contradictions to this little hypothesis!
> And then there are upper-body eliminations: We can't *"take a spit" or *"take a vomit." In our expressions, "take" seems to imply premeditation, deliberation, perhaps even a certain formality.
> --Charlie
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