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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rowr, Rowr, Rowr, or They Call Me Yogi the Bear

I was sitting in the yoga studio yesterday, waiting for the instructor, reflecting on the heat of the room, the silence, meditating on the beads of sweat that had formed on my face (beads, I suspect, that spelled out “Help Me”).

And that’s when it began.

Does the word “borborygmi” mean anything to you?

Now there’s a word, a word that does exactly what it says on the tin.

Borborygmi is the medical term for stomach growling.

I’ve always enjoyed a good stomach growling. It amuses me. As a child, I imagined that it was another language, that there would be some message forthcoming, something like “You will be first at the bus stop today” or “Keep an eye on your brother – he’s planning something devious for later”.

Of course I’m not the first person to experience body noises in a room devoid of sound. Without getting scatological here, I think we can all remember a time or two where someone’s body has betrayed them, whether it’s at a yoga studio, a church, a work cubicle…

Not that I would know anything about that.

Still, my amusement at the sound of a growling stomach is matched only by my love of the word that describes it: borborygmi. The more you say it, the more it sounds like a growling stomach.

Go ahead. You know you want to say it.

If only more words would sound like what they mean.

20 comments:

The Retired One said...

When I was in nursing school, I was amazed at the medical terms for normal bodily functions and body parts.
A knee-no siree...it is a patella.
A shoulder blade..nope, a scapula.

Don't even talk about what smegma is.
It gave us a fit of the giggles!

glnroz said...

It translates to "Feed me Seymor",,:)..

Not The Rockefellers said...

I never knew that! That sure is a fun word to know.

I also like words that look like what they are like bed, in lowercase.. bed..it's perfect.

Peace - Rene

Eskimo Bob said...

My favorite medical term and is perfect for a degrading name calling is: Renal Fat Pad.

Reddirt Woman said...

I like words that are fun to say and you are absolutely right. That word is a like fun house in your mouth.

Still chuckling...

Helen

powdergirl said...

Hot room? You're doing Bikram yoga?
I love the hot room, but I prefer Pilates for my yoga fix, wish someone would crank up the heat in the pilates studio though.
Love the new word, will be applying it in conversation ASAP : ), really like the singular form as well.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Borborygmi-- See, I really can learn something new every day. Who knew! Thanks for sharing.

erin said...

Oh! I can't wait to use this word later today when I'm not all by myself...
Whoops, I forgot it already. Should I go back and read your post again or just be lazy hit publish comment and move on?! Decisions decisions...

Red Squirrel said...

Ooh, I learnt something today - thank you :)

I think my favourite onamatapeic word is 'splat'.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Borborygmi...Wasn't that the villian from the Smurfs?

Mandy's Kidding said...

My god, I love words. That one is almost onomatopoeia.

Eric said...

Why does the word onomatopoeia sound like you are trying to spit some bad food out of your mouth?

The Jules said...

As someone who regularly has to listen to borborygmi, it has never occurred to me that it is in fact an onomatopoeia.

I'm going to keep saing it now.

Ooh, like "burp" and "hiccup",

a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! said...

farting. if someone had farted? i would have laughed.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I'mt sure I am pronouncing it right...

marjean said...

I certainly don't mind taking full credit for my borborygmi, it's the other bodily noises that I try to pass off on others.

Douglas said...

I sometimes think I'd like to do yoga then I remember that I often have trouble touching my knees. Uh, sorry, patellae.

Kavi said...

"Borborygmus (plural borborygmi) (pronounced [ˌborbərˈɪɡməs]) (from Greek βορβορυγμός) also known as stomach growling, or rumbling, is the rumbling sound produced by the movement of gas through the intestines of animals, including humans. The word borborygmus is an onomatopoeia for this rumbling.[1]

The "rumble" or "growl" sometimes heard from the stomach is a normal part of digestion. It originates in the stomach or upper part of the small intestine as muscles contract to move food and digestive juices down the gastrointestinal tract and functions as a sort of intestinal "housecleaning". Sometimes it occurs as part of the migrating myoelectric complex."

So says Wikipedia. I think i will settle for the rumble tumble of that word. What was that...Bory..bory.me..!!

Heidi said...

That is a great word.

I just read your post at Underdogs and thought I would come over this way to say it made me laugh. :)

Warty Mammal said...

Oh, cool! Thank you for the dose of enlightenment.