Definition of borborygmus
: intestinal rumbling caused by moving gas
borborygmus was our Word of the Day on 06/24/2012. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Unless you're a gastroenterologist, chances are you never knew there was a name for those loud gurglings your belly sometimes makes. And if in looking at the word, you thought it was just some crazy coinage invented by someone who thought the word matched the rumbling sound it represented, you'd be right, in a way. We picked it up from New Latin, but it traces to the Greek verb borboryzein, which means "to rumble." It is believed that the Greek verb was coined to imitate the digestive noises made by a stomach. "Borborygmus" has been part of English for at least 250 years; its earliest known use dates from around 1724.
Origin and Etymology of borborygmus
New Latin, from Greek borborygmos, from borboryzein to rumble
First Known Use: circa 1724
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