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What is the appropriate word for "to fart" regarding babies?

As "to fart" is declared as impolite in the most dictionaries there needs to be another word for it regarding babies? Like "pupsen" vs. "furzen" in German.

  • 4
    Some friends taught their children the term "bottom burp". I don't know how common it is (UK). – Mick Nov 9 '17 at 4:32
  • @Mick reasonably common – Chris H Nov 9 '17 at 9:12
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    I wouldn't really say that the word is "impolite", though some dictionaries do say that - Cambridge marks it as "very informal", which I believe is closer to the mark. Note that BBC News seems to use the word reasonably often, even in headlines, which would be very unlikely if the word were really offensive in any way. (There may be a difference in perception between UK/US; I couldn't comment on that.) – psmears Nov 9 '17 at 14:03
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    Soft words for children are nice, but they can be problematic. My parents wouldn't say the word Sh*t or Crap or Poop, so I was raised calling a number 2 a whiff and I thought everyone called it that. When I got to summer-camp I was speaking a different language than everyone else because my parents didn't like some words and that caused some laughter. – userLTK Nov 11 '17 at 4:52
  • @psmears I think it is certainly considered a mildly impolite term. – Kyle Strand Nov 11 '17 at 19:29
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In AmE, if you want another word to refer to a child farting, then you could use toot or poot. I could not quickly find a reputable dictionary entry for this particular usage of toot, but it is simply an extension of its dictionary meaning (OALD):

toot
A short, sharp sound made by a horn, trumpet, or similar instrument.

There is an entry for poot in the OALD

US
informal
Break wind.
‘somebody just pooted’

There are two from Wiktionary: toot, poot

For context, there are many euphemisms for fart. "Breaking wind" as used above is one. Another is passing gas (TFD):

pass gas
Euph. to release intestinal gas through the anus. Someone on the bus had passed gas. It smelled awful. Something I ate at lunch made me pass gas all afternoon.

This can apply to any person.

Finally, the formal word is flatulence (M-W):

flatus expelled through the anus

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    +1 See also Beans, beans, the Musical Fruit (0: – CowperKettle Nov 9 '17 at 5:42
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    @CowperKettle Oh, yeah. I forgot about that, which reminds of the Simpsons. – Em. Nov 9 '17 at 6:08
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    My wife often uses the phrase "tooty booty" when she's feeling gassy. – Andrew Nov 9 '17 at 15:44
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    +1 I would say that "toot" is slightly more polite than "poot", probably because it does have a non-flatulence-related meaning. – 1006a Nov 9 '17 at 19:25
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    "Break wind" is also appropriate in Britain and Ireland - you could include it in your answer – Qsigma Nov 10 '17 at 11:07
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In England a trump is wind that comes out of an arse (and has been for decades to my own personal knowledge so has not arisen from recent world events).

8

My favourite is from Blackadder:

NURSIE: ...and letting off such great and fruit-some flappy woof-woofs! One can scarcely...one can't believe one's tiny nosy!

-- Blackadder 2 - "Beer"

Although, this is not a commonly used phrase, except by fans of Blackadder.

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    It's worth noting (since this is a site for learners of English) that, entertaining though it is, this is not really a standard English phrase! – psmears Nov 9 '17 at 13:57
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You could consider the verb to parp (Collins).

Its original and standard meaning is "a honking sound", like the sound made by an old rubber car or bicycle horn. The word is onomatopoeic (it sounds like what it describes).

But in the right context people will recognise that you are talking about the sound the baby made, or indeed the entire farting behaviour in which the baby engaged.

The word itself is not considered impolite, although the topic still might not be considered tasteful in all forms of company.

I believe it would also be acceptable to use the noun a parp although you might not find that in frequent use.

4

My child's nursery (in London) called them "windypops". We still use it. I'm not sure how common it is, but I think in context it's fairly obvious to a native speaker.

  • Lovely! Of course, most British kids will know the term whizzpopper, coined by Roald Dahl. – Mick Nov 10 '17 at 5:12
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My mother used 'blowing off' as a euphemism for fart.

  • We used that too when I was a kid. When I heard the expression "to blow someone off", meaning to be dismissive of someone, that amused my juvenile mind because I pictured someone farting on someone. – Dangph Nov 12 '17 at 11:52
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In our family, they were called a 'scuse', because we had to say 'excuse me' after doing one (as young children, not as babies). Dictionary.com records 'scuse' as a general abbreviation for 'excuse', but I cannot find any reference to 'a scuse' anywhere on the internet (so far).

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