AskDefine | Define fart

Dictionary Definition

fart n : a reflex that expels intestinal gas through the anus [syn: farting, flatus, wind, breaking wind] v : expel intestinal gases through the anus [syn: break wind]

User Contributed Dictionary



From feortan, from Germanic *fertan, *fartōn, from Proto-Indo-European *perd- (to fart), probably of imitative origin.


  • /fɑːt/ (UK)
  • fä(r)t, /fA:(r)t/
    Rhymes: -ɑː(r)t


  1. An emission of digestive gases from the anus; a flatus.
  2. An irritating person; a fool.
  3. (usually as "old fart") An elderly person; especially one perceived to hold old-fashioned views.


an emission of flatulent gases


  1. To emit digestive gases from the anus; to flatulate.
  2. (usually as "fart around") To waste time with idle and inconsequential tasks; to go about one's activities in a lackadaisical manner; to be lazy or over-relaxed in one's manner or bearing.


to emit flatulent gases




from fartus


  1. stuffed
  2. fed up








fr-noun m
  1. wax italbrac for skis



  1. speed
    Það er nú meiri fartin á þér, drengur! – My, you sure seem to be in a hurry, son!



From vart, related to fare


no-noun-cu fart


  1. past participle of fare




Extensive Definition

Fart is an English language vulgarism most commonly used in reference to flatulence. The word "fart" is generally considered unsuitable in a formal environment by modern English speakers, and it may be considered vulgar or offensive in some situations. Fart can be used as a noun or a verb. The immediate roots are in the Middle English words "ferten", "feortan" or "farten"; which is akin to the Old High German word "ferzan" meaning 'to break wind'. Other roots lie in old Norse, Greek and Sanskrit. The word "fart" has been incorporated into the colloquial and technical speech of a number of occupations, including computing.
Fart is sometimes used as a nonspecific derogatory epithet, often to refer to 'an irritating or foolish person', and potentially an elderly person, described as an 'old fart'. This may be taken as an insult when used in the second or third person, but can potentially be a term of endearment, or an example of self deprecatory humour when used in the first person. The phrase 'boring old fart' was popularised in the UK in the late 1970's by the New Musical Express while chronicling the rise of punk, it was used to describe hippies and establishment figures in the music industry, forces of inertia against the new music.

Usage history

Indo-European origins

The English word fart is one of the oldest words in the English vocabulary. Its Indo-European pedigree is confirmed by the many cognate words in other Indo-European languages: It is cognate with Greek πέρδομαι (perdomai), Latin pēdĕre, Sanskrit pardate, Avestan pərəδaiti, and Russian пердеть (perdet'), all of which mean the same thing. Like most Indo-European roots in the Germanic languages, it was altered by Grimm's law, so that Indo-European /p/ > /f/, and /d/ > /t/, as the German cognate furzen also manifests.
The word fart in Middle English occurs in Chaucer's "Miller's Tale" (one of the Canterbury Tales). In the tale (which is told by a bawdy miller as a group of pilgrims travel to Canterbury), Absolon has already been tricked into kissing Alison's buttocks when he is expecting to kiss her face. Her boyfriend Nicholas hangs his buttocks out of a window, hoping to trick Absolon into kissing his buttocks in turn and then passes gas in the face of his rival.

Vulgarity and offensiveness

In certain circles the word is considered merely a common profanity with an often humorous connotation. For example, a person may be referred to as a 'fart', or an 'old fart', not necessarily depending on the person's age. This may convey the sense that a person is overly boring or fussy and be intended as an insult, mainly when used in the second or third person. For example '"he's a boring old fart!" However the word may be used as a colloquial term of endearment or a in an attempt at humorous self-deprecation, (e.g., in such phrases as "I know I'm just an old fart" or "you do like to fart about!"). 'Fart' is often only used as a term of endearment when the subject is personally well known to the user. In both cases though, it tends to refer to personal habits or traits that the user considers to be a negative feature of the subject, even when it is a self-reference. For example, when concerned that a person is being overly methodical they might say 'I know I'm being an old fart', potentially to forestall negative thoughts and opinions in other. When used in an attempt to be offensive, the word is still considered vulgar, but it remains a mild example of such an insult.

Modern usage

By the early twentieth century, the word "fart" had come to be considered rather vulgar in most English-speaking cultures. For a long time, the word was forbidden from the public airwaves in the United States by the FCC. While not one of George Carlin's original seven dirty words, he noted in a later routine that the word fart , ought to be added to "the list" of words that were not acceptable (for broadcast) in any context (which have non-offensive meanings).

Changing attitudes

With the rise of cable television and changing social mores in general, the word fart is (in 2007) frequently heard in the broadcast media. It is also now found in such places as children's literature, such as the Walter the Farting Dog series of children's books, Robert Munsch's Good Families Don't and The Gas We Pass by Shinta Cho. While still considered impolite in some social contexts, much of the stigma surrounding the word has disappeared.

In other usage

As a verb phrase

Following on from 'fart' being used to refer to an irritating or foolish person, the verb phrase 'fart around', meaning to spend time foolishly or aimlessly is also utilised. Again this can be in a humorous attempt at a term of endearment, or as an insult.

Other usages

Fart has been used to name cocktails, an example being a 'Duck fart', playing on the humorous reference to flatulence--an example of toilet humour. It has also been used in the term 'fart sack', military slang for a bed or sleeping bag.


External links

fart in Bulgarian: Флатуленция
fart in Czech: Prd
fart in German: Flatulenz
fart in Spanish: Flatulencia
fart in French: Flatulence
fart in Iloko: Uttot
fart in Indonesian: Kentut
fart in Italian: Flatulenza
fart in Hebrew: נפיחה
fart in Dutch: Winderigheid
fart in Japanese: 屁
fart in Korean: 방귀
fart in Polish: Gazy jelitowe
fart in Portuguese: Flatulência
fart in Romanian: Flatulenţă
fart in Russian: Метеоризм
fart in Simple English: Flatulence
fart in Finnish: Pieru
fart in Swedish: Flatulens
fart in Vietnamese: Trung tiện
fart in Chinese: 屁

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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