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How can I write about somebody defecating without resorting to childish phrases like 'having a poopoo'.

Is there an equivalent to 'pee' (which can be used by adults to mean urinate) for defecating?

So far I have "taking a dump" but it seems to have a comedic effect in certain cases.

marked as duplicate by Mari-Lou A, TimLymington, anongoodnurse, Mitch, Bradd Szonye Feb 10 '14 at 3:13

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There are many euphemisms in this list, few of which I've heard. I'd probably get the drift if someone used any of them.

I don't see the reason for the specificity. If I am going to excuse myself for such purposes, I might say I'm going to visit the washroom (or little boy's room), and if there was any reason to say so, I might indicate I could be a few minutes-- just so others are not putting their jackets on and lacing up their boots in the expectation of my return within less than sixty seconds. Or perhaps I'd let the Sunday New York Times (City Edition) under my arm say it for me.

If you're going to tell them the nature of the elimination, perhaps you should also include the information that you intend to thoroughly wash your hands in case some fecal matter should contaminate them. Perhaps share information on the consistency and regularity of your bowel movements? I just don't see the need for it.

If you're going for the comedic effect, on the other hand, try using "massive dump".


1) Move one's bowels

2)Do the number two (a bit slangy/ really informal)

  • Your second example would normally have a instead of the. – Tristan r Feb 25 '14 at 17:01
  • Also, I've heard phrase 1 stated as "void one's bowels" – sharur Jun 6 '17 at 21:11


It is not necessarily childish. Both "pee" and "poop" are euphemisms.


Crap is both not (that) vulgar and informal. I doubt you can get any better than that:

crap Vulgar Slang n.

  1. Excrement.

  2. An act of defecating.

  3. Foolish, deceitful, or boastful language.

  4. Cheap or shoddy material.
  5. Miscellaneous or disorganized items; clutter.
  6. Insolent talk or behavior.

The equivalent of taking a dump would be having a crap.

I stress that while crap is not all that vulgar, it is not a word you would use in very polite conversation. However, you did ask for informal and it is far less vulgar than shit, so I think it fits the bill.

  • I never understand why 'crap' is regarded as vulgar. It originates from the name of Thomas Crapper, the Victorian sanitary engineer who invented the modern WC. – WS2 Feb 9 '14 at 21:10
  • 2
    Snopes disagrees. snopes.com/business/names/crapper.asp – Spehro Pefhany Feb 9 '14 at 22:15
  • Crap is used in a vulgar/offensive way dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/crap_1?q=crap It's not a word to use normally. In the UK, people say having a dump. – Tristan r Feb 26 '14 at 16:07
  • @Tristanr that's why I said not that vulgar and even stressed that it "should not be used in very polite conversation". Dump is already mentioned in the OP. What exactly is the point of your comment? – terdon Feb 26 '14 at 16:14
  • My point was that here in the UK, people say have rather than take, with the word dump. – Tristan r Feb 26 '14 at 16:23

"Go to the bathroom" and "go to the toilet" as euphemisms for "defecate", "take a dump".

"Take a crapper" as an informal equivalent.

"Take a leak" for "urinate".

  • Most of these are American English. In the UK, people say go to the toilet or just go to toilet. The word the, is not strictly necessary. The word take in this context, is particularly American. In the UK, people usually use the word have. Your example with the word crapper, should be crap. See dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/crap_1?q=crap – Tristan r Feb 25 '14 at 16:58
  • The word leak in this context, is also American. – Tristan r Feb 25 '14 at 17:04

The term doctors and nurses use when they make inquiry from me is

  • How's your bowel movement?
  • When was your last bowel movement?
  • Have you had your bowels emptied recently?
  • Please collect a sliver of your bowel discharge into this little container, and seal the lid with the sticker.

Therefore, to sound pretentiously professional, you would say

  • Mom, I am emptying my bowels.
  • I need to take care of some movement I am sensing within my bowels.

To be a bit more entertaining,

  • There is equivalent of a bucket of unflushed night soil in the toilet bowl. Is it yours?
  • I've got bowel plumbing issues. It won't hold too well if you hold me any longer.
  • Is that a vowel from your bowel? (aka fart).
  • Did I hear vowels from your bowels?

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