“Daddyo, have you ever made people eat food and then listened to their tummies?”

Hey--do you think it was this guy? (Image of Plato by Raphael)

After an evening of pizza eating, there was some tummy talk.

The Four-Year-Old: “Daddyo, have you ever made people eat food and then listened to their tummies?”

Daddyo: “No. I have not done that. Do you want to know what that sound is called?”

The Four-Year-Old: “Yeah.”

Daddyo: “Borborygmi.”

The Four-Year-Old: “Why is it called that?”

Daddyo: “I don’t know. I think it’s from some old Greek word that probably sounded like the noise tummies make.”

Mommyo surreptitiously Asks the iPhone. According to Wikipedia, borborygmi (the singular is borborygmus, but who ever hears just one?) comes from the ancient Greek word borborugmos. And yes, borborugmos is some ancient Greek’s verbal approximation of the stomach noises themselves.

Daddyo, I bow down to you, oh Sage of Etymology.

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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5 Responses to “Daddyo, have you ever made people eat food and then listened to their tummies?”

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