No windbags here...

Kim : I am currently writing a paper for my english class. The title is "Fart: Why Do Some People Treat it Like a Four Letter Word?" I am curious to the origin of this word. If anyone could help, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Anonymous: You owe it to yourself to equip your library with an American Heritage Dictionary of the American Language (Get the hardback version,as it has all you will need to know in it about word origins. Don't ever buy a cheap paperback dictionary, as most of them have about 1/3 of the word entries and incomplete definitions, as well as no usage notes. The word you were asking about comes from the Middle English--which is abbreviated in the definition as simply ME. Chaucer used the word rather frequently. Also, if you think about it, it probably has its origins in an onomatopoeatic imitation of the action itself.) Now, go out and get that dictionary. You will be surprised at how often you will use it.

Terry O'Connor: Fart IS a four-letter word... but I know what you mean.
It's also a very old word, having come from the Indo-European root perd.
Fart pops up (sorry) in the German farzen, the Swedish fjarta, the Danish fjerte, the Russian perdet, the Polish pierdziec, the Greek pordizo and the Welsh rhechain.

paige: i looked up the word "fart" in the Oxford English Dictionary and the earliest mention of the word is in the 1200's. it's Old Enlgish translation is feortan. in Old High German it was ferzan. apparantly even dated back that far the word still meant to break wind but it did not have to rude connotations of today. hope that helped.

Neil Horlock: According to Webster:
The word fart is from Middle English ferten, farten; akin to Old High German ferzan to break wind, Old Norse freta, Greek perdesthai, Sanskrit pardate he breaks wind. and dates back to the 13th Century.

Shawn New Orleans: We don't know the origin of the word itself. But we do use it as an acronym: "For Accelerating Rude Toxins". Also used as an affectionate "put down" for my wife.
(Shawn: Can't comment on your wife but I suggest this acronym is imaginary. You should see the references in the archive to the supposed acronymic origins for fuck, camp and drag. - Terry O'Connor)

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