In German, we call the result of one particular dump as well as the doing it itself

sein Geschäft machen (to do a deal/business)

This is common and fit for print. Is there something similar in English that I could use in the following sentence

After his morning _ ,...

Or what other ways are there to express that without being vulgar or too technical?

  • 4
    I think the type of expression you’re looking for is a euphemism. Nov 26, 2013 at 14:14
  • 6
    A lot of English speakers are going to see "pooh" and get confused at first, thinking of Winnie the Pooh, also known as Pooh Bear. What you're asking about doesn't have the 'h' on the end, although they are pronounced the same: Poo.
    – Izkata
    Nov 26, 2013 at 16:12
  • 10
    To "drop the kids off at the pool" is my personal favourite. Nov 26, 2013 at 21:24
  • 5
    While not synonymous with dumping, one could say (by way of completing your phrase) " After his morning ablutions , ... " Nov 26, 2013 at 23:35
  • 4
    @HappyGreenKidNaps I think "ablution" refers to the act of washing oneself, so anything from washing your face in the morning to taking a shower would constitute "morning ablutions". The OP is looking for a euphemism for moving one's bowels. Nov 27, 2013 at 4:37

11 Answers 11


I don't know of any nouns that fit your proposed phrase, but there are a few verbal phrases that might suit your purposes.

American speakers (and possibly other English speakers) use the euphemism of relieving oneself. So, in your example, you might say:

In the morning, after he relieved himself...

Like the German phrase you mention, English also includes the euphemism to do one's business, but it usually carries an implication of immaturity toward the object of the expression:

do one's business, (usually of an animal or child) to defecate or urinate: housebreaking a puppy to do his business outdoors.

So we might say,

After my dog Sparky did his business on his favorite tree, we returned home.

  • 7
    Not to be crude, but 'relieving oneself' has multiple meanings here, and I would say more often it is not related to poo.
    – agweber
    Nov 26, 2013 at 20:55
  • 3
    @agweber I've personally never heard the phrase used with that particular euphemistic meaning (East coast U.S.), although it's not surprising that it might exist, given that the phrases operates by omitting the thing of which the person was relieved.
    – apsillers
    Nov 26, 2013 at 21:06
  • 8
    While I've certainly heard it used to mean a few different things, it's also worth noting that in British English, "relieving oneself" almost always means urinating rather than any other bodily function.
    – calum_b
    Nov 27, 2013 at 11:39
  • 1
    @scottishwildcat I cannot really speak to this but I believe the same is true for US English as well.
    – terdon
    Nov 27, 2013 at 17:30

The phrase "morning constitutional" is ambiguously used to mean either a morning walk, or a morning "dump". So "After his morning constitutional..."

Another possibility: "After spending some time on the throne..."

  • Awesome!!! the first one sounds soooo official :D
    – Emanuel
    Nov 26, 2013 at 15:22
  • 6
    In what region(s) is this spoken? I would understand it to mean "a central physical activity of the morning", but would not necessarily associate with a "dump" without further context. Nov 26, 2013 at 16:34
  • 1
    I wouldn't even associate it with a morning exercise. I'd probably have to do a quick google - and even then if it can mean both I'd need extra context. South Central and South Eastern U.S.A.
    – Doc
    Nov 26, 2013 at 16:37
  • 3
    Midwest US weighing in - though not so common now, when I was growing up, mostly men had their morning "constitutional" in the bathroom. :-) Nov 26, 2013 at 18:27
  • 3
    England here. I’m only familiar with the walk meaning, although I could easily imagine picking up the toilet meaning from context.
    – PLL
    Nov 26, 2013 at 21:56

Unless one is accounting for his activities to his doctor in which case he'd say he had a bowel movement at 9:00 AM today, it would probably suffice to say any of the following:

He made a pit stop

He took a bathroom break

He visited the men's room

He went to the bathroom

All of these are acceptable in mixed company, though they do tend to fall under the category of TMI (too much information) - and none clearly differentiate between urinating and defecating.

  • 1
    Any solution to this question involves TMI if it's at all direct. "Step out" is as direct a reference as I've heard, with "step down the hall/down the corridor/away" close behind. Usage: If anyone needs to step out during the meeting, simply do so. (Meaning, "If anyone needs to tend to personal business of any sort during the meeting, don't announce it. Simply leave quietly, go to the appropriate location, and return quietly when you are done.") Dec 3, 2013 at 22:37

As apsillers notes, "doing one's business" works in English. I think you could even use "business" directly in your fill-in-the-blank, especially if you put it in double-quotes to indicate its euphemistic nature:

After his morning "business," Joe headed out for a coffee.

A little more verbose, but another common option for politely referring to the act is to refer to time spent in the bathroom:

Joe took a few minutes in the bathroom, and then he headed out for a coffee.

FWIW, I don't think I'd ever use "constitutional" in the way that Ernest did.


We Brits, for whatever reasons, don't seem to like to discuss the formalities of urination and defecation.

In fact, we are so afraid to discuss these acts that we have given them numbers.

Having a wee is "going for a number one" whilst having a poo is "going for a number two".

You could quite easily get away with the perfectly non-vulgar:

After having his number two this morning, he...

  • 4
    While these are both pretty common in spoken english, I don't think I've ever seen them used in even slightly formal writing, so they might not be a good choice here.
    – starwed
    Nov 26, 2013 at 17:38
  • 1
    I agree. There are only a few cases in Google books where it appears but the OP did say "as long as you can say it at lunch".
    – Ste
    Nov 26, 2013 at 21:32
  • Do you have number 2s? I tend to do them.
    – terdon
    Nov 27, 2013 at 15:28
  • @terdon I've heard both. And I've certainly heard "I'm going to have a dump".
    – Ste
    Nov 27, 2013 at 15:38
  • Huh, OK, I would take a dump.
    – terdon
    Nov 27, 2013 at 16:00

It is slightly vulgar but an expression that is similar to the German one you are familiar with, and common among friends is to say one 'dropped a load'.

Every morning after dropping a load, John...

I just dropped a serious load! Do not go in there!

The term 'relieved' is the most common and politically correct way of referring to the activity of one defecating.

Every morning after relieving himself, John...
  • Though in British English, "relieving himself" would generally indicate urination rather than defecation.
    – calum_b
    Nov 27, 2013 at 11:41

My English father would say he was "going to see a man about a dog". I don't think that would work with an American audience.

  • 2
    An American (or this American anyway) would think your father was going to urinate. Nov 26, 2013 at 21:23
  • I always heard "going to see a man about a dog" as an excuse for leaving the house (GenAmE/Southern AmE)
    – Mitch
    Nov 27, 2013 at 18:51
  • Seeing a man about a dog is in American use, but old fashioned, to mean "I'm off to do shit, and you don't need to know what." Here, shit represents all manner of activities ... that I won't be detailing. May 17, 2020 at 17:47


After finishing his breakfast, Martin released a load and brushed his teeth.


After finishing his breakfast, Martin did away with an intestinal dragon and brushed his teeth thereafter.


After finishing his breakfast, Martin ferociously had his way with the toilet and brushed his teeth afterward.


After finishing his breakfast, Martin voided a faecal contract and brushed his teeth shortly after.

Why not?

  • 9
    These are all fun fanciful ways to put it; they’re not common, neutral phrases for the act, though.
    – PLL
    Nov 26, 2013 at 21:57
  • I'm glad they were at least enjoyed!
    – Mr_Spock
    Nov 26, 2013 at 22:07
  • had his way with has other meanings, and caused a smile to appear as I envisioned something entirely different
    – SeanC
    Nov 27, 2013 at 20:17

Dump is a perfectly good word for this and it is not (very) vulgar. It's not refined either but can be used in relatively polite conversation (inasmuch as you can have a polite conversation when discussing the subject at hand):

Definition source

4. informal an act of defecation.

So, you could say

After his morning dump...

It is not the most polite of terms, but it is not as vulgar as all that either. Similarly, you could use crap:

After his morning crap...

Again, it is not a particularly refined or polite word but it is not really vulgar as such either. As you can see in the Ngram below, while the vulgar shit is the most common, both dump and crap are also used:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Nice graph. There sure was a lot of defecation going on in 1914. I wonder why.
    – n00b
    Nov 27, 2013 at 20:21
  • @n00b yes, especially considering how famously constipated the Victorians were.
    – terdon
    Nov 28, 2013 at 3:32
  • 1
    @n00b Probably the soldiers in the trenches in WW1.
    – Greybeard
    May 17, 2020 at 17:36
  • @terdon 1914 was 13 years after the reign of Victoria.
    – Greybeard
    May 17, 2020 at 17:37
  • @Greybeard, I try not to let historical accuracy get in the way of a bad joke.
    – terdon
    May 17, 2020 at 22:32

There's a great phrase in the book "2001: A Space Odyssey" which is both very polite and clear. It talks about an astronaut "attending to his toilet." (I can't find an online copy to link, and I don't have a copy on hand to cite a page number.)

This is respectful and euphemistic without being crass or embarrassing.

If there is a concern about ambiguity, and it's important to reference defecation in contrast to urination, the most polite way is to call it a "bowel movement."

"In the morning, after his bowel movement..." or "...after he had moved his bowels..."

it's polite, acceptable and specific to the act.


Of interest is that the act of going to the bathroom to urinate or defecate is often expressed as "going to the little boys'/girls' room",especially when in a public place.I suppose this betrays the speaker's embarrassment about bodily functions,as opposed to little children,who are not yet socialized.

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