The history of the word “fart” is almost the opposite of an actual fart. The word “fart” goes back at least 800 years to Middle English and possibly beyond. A real fart is brief, usually lasting only a few seconds.
When I was growing up, the word I was familiar with was “flush” which was a bombolastic power from the human ‘bottoss’ (Don’t judge my childhood). Today we call it ‘fart’ which according to Merriam Webster is “to expel intestinal gas from the anus.” However, I like my childhood definition better. It is concise, precise , straight to the point and less graphic as compared to the definition which has ‘anus’ as its punch line.
If you are as sophisticated as some of the friends I have, you would want to go with the word ‘Flatulence’. Flatulence is a cool word. It is classier than just saying fart and this is only because it is a longer word. Just like being called Elizabeth instead of just Lizzy (no offense to any Lizzy reading this post).
As bad as a fart can be, the accusation of being the farter is much worse. Very few things in life are worse than being known as the guy (or girl) that farts. One loud blast (accompanied by a foul stench) will lead to years of suspicion and mockery. Even the silent ones which don’t leave traces back to you can be derogatory.
I have endured hours of discomfort at times both at school and in my work life to avoid being accused of farting. Back in high school, luckily on the usual, the guy who sat behind me got blamed. He couldn’t get out of it once he was tagged and neither can no one. This is because the rule of thumb concerning farts dictates that the person who denies it most did it. And once you’re tagged all future farts will be attributed to you. Till this day he is known as ‘******** -the Flusher’ (I need to protect what’s left of his dignity)
That shows how tarnishing to your reputation the accusation of farting can be. To a kid, it’s worse than being called a racist as an adult. Neither accusation has to be proven for the charge to stick, and both accusations can destroy your reputation for years. So to the dude who took my fall several times in high school (RIP to his reputation in that regard), you were my MVP and I am sorry.
There are some things in life that a person can’t take back. You can’t take back a fart, and you can’t take back the accusation. The fart lasts for a moment, but the accusation of farting (if it sticks) can last forever just like the accusations and false witness we bear against our neighbours.
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish. (Proverbs 19:9)
In the words of William Shakespeare, “A fart by any other name would smell just as foul.” You could equally be at the receiving end of the fart accusation and just maybe you wouldn’t be able to handle it so well. So the next time you think of being the whistle blower to accuse someone of a fart accusation, be it loud and scentless or silent and evil smelling, figurative or literal, ask yourself this question, ‘How would this accusation look on me?’