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Can you please check my sentences below or write new sentences that sound natural for me?

Be careful! Dog's poop just ahead.
There's a lot of dog's waste on this street. Mind your step.
Be careful! There's so much dog shit.

Should I say dog's poop, dog shit, or dog's waste?

For poop, I wonder if it should be singular or plural. Can I say "Be careful! Dog's poops!"?

  • What is "-1"? I really want to know about it? Is it impolite question??? I need to warn my foreigner friends about that. Please have positive thinking! – nkm May 8 '13 at 16:32
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    Some suggestions: Don't use "dog's"; use just "dog". Don't use "shit": it's vulgar. You can say "dog poop" if you want: low register. You can say "dog excrement": much higher register. You can say "dog dung" or "dog feces": middle register. Or you can say "dog droppings": but "droppings" is usually used for birds, so unless they're bird dogs, you might not want to say that. Choose the word that your audience will understand and appreciate. Maybe a picture would be better: use Google Images. Then you don't need to choose a descriptive phrase. Sometimes things are better left unsaid. – user264 May 8 '13 at 16:39
  • No, the question isn't impolite, but maybe it's off topic. Somebody thought you asked the wrong kind of question: Will you please write something for me? It's like asking us to do your homework. But I think it's a reasonable request. – user264 May 8 '13 at 16:42
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    I don't understand the Off Topic closevote. The mere fact that @Bill can suggest dung and droppings (which both sound really weird to me) simply underlines the fact that even native speakers may struggle to find suitable terms. – FumbleFingers May 8 '13 at 16:49
  • Thank you so much Bill Franke and FumbleFingers! I searched for informations and copied those sentences from internet and online dictionary.I wasn't sure they were polite to say or not so I asked here to get proper sentences. Your explanations are very useful and helpful. – nkm May 9 '13 at 7:46
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The RSPCA (UK-based, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has a publication called Complete Dog Care Manual, which includes a section headlined

Cleaning up dog mess.

So I'd go for that if you're not sure how others might react to various different words (for example, poop may be considered "childish", shit may be a bit too crude, and waste is somewhat "clinical").

Logically, you might think dogs' mess would be more "correct", but in fact that form is quite uncommon.


Note that whenever possible, corporate/government documents, newspapers, etc., tend to avoid directly referring to the excrement itself. You probably wouldn't want to bring it up in after-dinner conversation anyway, but "There's a problem with dog fouling in our local park" might be more acceptable there.


UPDATE: Intrigued by some of the comments, I dug deeper. It turns out Americans favour "poop"...

(NGrams, "American English" corpus)

enter image description here

...whereas Brits favour "mess" or "dirt"...

(NGrams, "British English" corpus)

enter image description here

Note that I didn't include "shit" in those charts. It's actually far more common than all the alternatives put together, but in many contexts it would definitely be far too vulgar to use safely.

  • Thank you so much for your explanations and new words! It's also helpful and useful. – nkm May 9 '13 at 7:52
  • Incidentally, "Dogs' mess" means that the mess was made by multiple dogs. If the mess was made by a single dog, it would be "Dog's." But either way, "dog" without the "s" at the end is more common in this particular context. – jimchristie May 9 '13 at 16:48
  • @jimirings: Well. obviously if you were talking about a specific dog turd, it would be a dog's mess. So in OP's first example it would be more grammatically correct to refer to it that way in writing. But people probably don't often write about individual "steamers" (though I admit that one was easy to find! :), so the position of the "potential apostrophe" is something of a moot point. I did check Google Books, actually - dog mess is by far the most common orthography there. – FumbleFingers May 9 '13 at 22:57
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    @snailboat: Well, if we're to believe Google Books UK/US classifications, and prevalence percentages, I get the impression it was US from the 50s, and only really caught on in the UK in the 80s. But apparently it's now three times more prevalent in the UK (we obviously like it! :) – FumbleFingers May 10 '13 at 1:50
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    Dog dirt? I've never heard that one. "Dog mess" sounds weird to me too. I guess that's the American vs. British thing. – Daniel May 10 '13 at 17:55
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I would say dog feces in formal situations (example of use here). Avoid using "shit": it's very vulgar.

  • Thanks Rodrigo Guedes. At first, I wondered "shit" might be vulgar but I found example sentences from internet. That's why I asked here. Now I understand about it. – nkm May 10 '13 at 16:12
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The first two sentences don't sound natural at all. It is not necessary to write "dog's" in that context. It would be sufficient just to write dog.

Should I say dog's poop, dog shit, or dog's waste?

That would depend on circumstances. You could use the word shit in situations when it is acceptable or you are deliberately trying to be, crude, obnoxious. In general, it is better to use a more polite reference to it, which would be dog mess. That is a common way of referring to it. Another polite way of saying it would be dog waste but, it's not as common.

Regarding "poop", that doesn't seem natural. (The second letter P is superfluous. An unnecessary, added extra. Surplus to requirements.) I don't know where you got that from or why you used it but, in England and the rest of the UK, there is an English word in use which is poo. It's informal and usually used by children. It's not crude, just informal and is also used by adults when speaking informally. It is also used in the context of dog mess and is a common, alternative way of referring to it.

In general, you can write dog mess (or dog poo if you are being informal) in your sentences. You could also write dog waste.

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    Poop is perfectly normal in American English. Not exactly high-register, but totally normal. – Martha May 9 '13 at 14:18
  • Thank you so much Tristan! I 've ever heard that word "poo" but I thought poo is only used for children poo. I don't know that we can use in this case. It is helpful and useful. – nkm May 9 '13 at 14:20
  • @ Martha Thanks for your informations about "poop" because it helps me to learn about British English and American English. It's useful and interesting. – nkm May 9 '13 at 14:23
  • Martha, that's enlightening. I did not know that. – Tristan May 9 '13 at 14:48
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    nkm, it's not only used in terms of children. Adults also use it, when speaking informally. – Tristan May 9 '13 at 14:51
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Another term for it (British English) is Dog Muck.

This is certainly the term I would use in an informal situation where shit would be inappropriate.

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