"hungry" describes the condition where one craves intake of more food. what is the English name for the condition where one needs to expel the end result?

  • I doubt it's shitty
    – rubenvb
    Mar 9, 2012 at 14:20
  • @rubenvb: well, "hungry" does't mean that desires to "hang" Mar 9, 2012 at 14:22
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    Dunno about America, but in Britain you're taken short. Sometimes it can also mean you're desperate to urinate, but normally that's bursting or busting [for a pee]. Mar 9, 2012 at 14:34
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    If it's pathologically frequent, the condition is termed rectal tenesmus. Mar 9, 2012 at 17:03
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    @FrustratedWithFormsDesigner: In Esperanto, the word "fekavida" is easily and naturally formed, meaning, literally, "defecate-urgently-wanting"...:) Mar 9, 2012 at 23:02

4 Answers 4


There is no common word that describes this condition. American English speakers will politely say:

I need to go to the bathroom.

British English speakers may say something like:

I need to go to the loo.

I need to visit the WC.

None of these are explicit about what kind of waste is being eliminated, but in polite company you don't usually need to be exact about your toilet activities.

There are a wide variety of less polite alternatives, which I started to try to list, but gave up.

  • 3
    "Touching cloth" is a personal fave :)
    – tinyd
    Mar 9, 2012 at 14:40
  • I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone say "I need to visit the WC".
    – Andy F
    Mar 9, 2012 at 14:47
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    I'm not a brit: what do you/they say? Or maybe they just don't poop at all. Mar 9, 2012 at 15:31
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    loo is idiomatic, WC isn't.
    – Useless
    Mar 9, 2012 at 15:32
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    "I'm crowning!" Mar 9, 2012 at 16:08

My grandmother would never be more explicit than to say she "needed to powder her nose". The fact that she didn't wear makeup was quite beside the fact. On the other end of the spectrum, others might have a "need to take a dump".


Fecal urgency is the term for really needing to go.


Prairie dogging, as depicted in the movie Rat Race (2001):

Kimberly Pear: [Kimberly needs to go to the bathroom] Dad, I'm prairie dogging it! Randy Pear: What the hell does that mean? Jason Pear: You know, like when a prairie dog sticks his head in and out of the ground. Randy Pear: Oh. [Five seconds later] Bev Pear: Ugh! Randy Pear: Ohh, god, I do not wanna picture that!


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