In the second season, episode 4 of Derry Girls, in the last two minutes, the girls are caught trying to get rid of 'happy' scones, flushing them through the toilet, which gets clogged. In the next scene, someone asks Erin kindly:

How are your scoots now, Erin, love?

Considering the scene before it, I'd assume scoots here means bowels. But I've never heard this expression. I understand that dogs or cats can "scoot", and that as a verb it's a rather common word. But none of the dictionaries I consulted online (Oxford, Cambridge, Webster, The Free Online Dictionary) mentions such meaning as a noun at all. And it doesn't seem related to its meaning as a verb either.

Is this Irish slang? Or (not so) common use of the word in this meaning in common English? And more importantly, as non native speaker, is there some tongue-in-cheek I'm missing?

PS: Later, same scene, the word is used again:

Can we please stop talking about Erin's scoots, we're about to have our tea.

  • 1
    “The scoots” means diarrhea, but I’m having trouble finding a reasonable source. It’s definitely more BrE than AmE; I think our equivalent is “the runs”. – Dan Bron Sep 18 at 23:28
  • You don't seem to have checked a dictionary first, though. Look for the singular and all its meanings. – Kris Sep 19 at 11:10
  • @kris, interestingly, I did, assuming you mean a 'physical', paper dictionary. I own a Collins Cobuild, but my edition didn't have a relevant meaning. – Abel Sep 24 at 22:46
  • I did not necessarily mean a "physical" resource. We need to at least google an expression before asking on this site. See answers below! – Kris Sep 25 at 10:17
  • @kris, I know, and believe me, I tried, see my original question text. I tried 4 online dictionaries. Ultimately, I failed to see the link to the idiom section of the FOD, which was mentioned in the first answer. Apparently, the first commenter here had the same issue. Glad a good reference was ultimately found, though. – Abel Sep 25 at 13:15

According to the free dictionary scoots means

(slang) Diarrhea

Which is in context with the scene you're describing.

  • Tx for this. I used the same dictionary, I thought, but you found a different entry for the same word (I had thefreedictionary.com/scoots), but without that meaning. And I agree it appears to be in the same direction. But 'your scoots'? As in 'how's your diarrhea'? But maybe that just adds to the rawness of the scene, I doubt that's a typical polite way of asking how you're doing ;) – Abel Sep 24 at 22:53

Green’s Dictionary of Slang has usage examples from late 19th century. The term does not appear to be an Irish one.

scoot n. [euph. of shit n.]

diarrhoea; thus a general term of abuse; occas. in plural, the scoots.

  • 1890 - (UK) ‘’Arry on the Sincerest Form of Flattery’ in Punch 20 Sept. 144/2: Sech scoots scurryfunging around on the gay old galoot to go snacks / In the profits of other folks’ notions.

  • 1906 [US] J.W. Carr ‘Words from Northwest Arkansas’ in DN III:iii 155: scoot, n. Rascal. ‘He’s an old scoot’.

  • Interesting historical mention. Nice find! – Abel Sep 24 at 22:55

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