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Dirt is defined as any unclean substance, such as mud, dust, excrement, etc; filth. However, I am not sure if dried pee is considered dirt, because it's not visible and it's barely solid. You can't scrub it off and it's soluble. So is it considered dirt or not? I know this question is weird and sound stupid, but the answer isn't as simple as it might appear.

For example:

He went to the bathroom to pee a while ago, so he took a bath to clean off the dirt on his private parts.

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'Dirt' in the sense of bodily contamination, is usually reserved for visible matter including, as you say, soil, excrement, dust, soot, etc. Cambridge gives a general definition:

dust, soil, or any substance that makes a surface not clean

and a specifically American one:

earth or a substance like it that has gotten on the surface of something such as your skin

I would say that most British people would accept the latter meaning, but, if pressed, concede that dried urine is a 'substance that makes a surface (including the skin) not clean'. I would add, although perhaps I am being subjective here, that most people would not feel the need to take a bath after urination. Males who are old enough to use a toilet can generally manage not to get urine all over their private parts.

I wonder if the question is about ritual cleanliness?

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  • Not all over, but at the tip of your private parts.
    – frbsfok
    Mar 31, 2019 at 19:12
  • That's one of the uses of toilet paper. Do you rush to the bath every time you sneeze, or need to blow your nose when you have a cold? Mar 31, 2019 at 19:13
  • Toilet paper sometimes sticks onto your genitals. Anyway, is there a general class dried pee falls under?
    – frbsfok
    Mar 31, 2019 at 19:17
  • "Anyway, is there a general class dried pee falls under?" Maybe if you are a Muslim, then you might class it as 'najis' which is an Arabic word. (نجس‎). Mar 31, 2019 at 19:29
  • There’s a difference between bits of toilet paper and urine. I would not consider either one of them to be “dirt”, though I would consider the person with either of these substances on them to be “dirty”, like @JBH says in another comment here.
    – Mixolydian
    Mar 31, 2019 at 20:14
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"Dirt" has a range of meanings, from ordinary soil that plants grow in, to "a substance that worsens the appearance of something", to metaphorical meanings.

Surely "dried pee" does worsen the appearance of something, if not by sight then at least by smell. So dried pee could be "dirt".

In the quote given, I find the use of "dirt" to be odd. Normally going to the bathroom, you don't get pee on your private parts (it comes out but goes into the toilet). If you had said,

The boy wet his bed, so had to wash the dirt out of his sheets

I would understand. However I can't see how the sentence is clearer than

The boy wet his bed, so had to wash his sheets

He went to the bathroom a while ago, so took a bath to clean his privates.

I see no benefit in mentioning "dirt" in the particular example sentences.

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    James K "Normally going to the bathroom, you don't get pee on your private parts (it comes out but goes into the toilet)." Exactly. Mar 31, 2019 at 19:05
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    In my locale, a cloth one had urinated on would be considered "dirty," but the urine itself (dried or not) would never be referred to as "dirt." In the context of the OP's example, "dirt" would always have a soil (rock) component. Even compost wouldn't be referred to as "dirt."
    – JBH
    Mar 31, 2019 at 19:05
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    It always strikes me as slightly odd that Americans use 'dirt' to refer to the (often) brown stuff that makes up the ground in rural parts, that plants grow in. Dirt is nasty stuff that you don't want, whereas a good healthy topsoil is a fine substance, and its smell is appreciated by many. Mar 31, 2019 at 19:08
  • Not all over, but at the tip of your private parts.
    – frbsfok
    Mar 31, 2019 at 19:12
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    Well I give a little shake and all is good! Regarding "dirt" meaning "soil", this use has dropped out of everyday British English, but it was certainly current in the past. My Grandmother always referred to the "dirt" in the garden. Perhaps this is a hangover from "nightsoil".
    – James K
    Mar 31, 2019 at 19:24

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