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  1. HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
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    #1

    moving bowels = bowel movement?

    Nurse Duckett made a note to give Yossarian another pill, and the four of them moved along to the next bed. None of the nurses liked Yossarian. Actually, the pain in his liver had gone away, but Yossarian didn't say anything and the doctors never suspected. They just suspected that he had been moving his bowels and not telling anyone.
    This is pretty much how Catch-22 by Joseph Heller starts. I know Yossarian is faking his jaundice so he could stay in the hospital. What I don't know is what moving one's bowels means, and if it means what I think it means (flexing the intestines?), why the particular sentence is there. I see no purpose served in the sentence.

    And when there's a sentence like this, I can't seem to ignore it and continue reading. Could you help me? I'd be very thankful.

    - HKB

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: moving bowels = bowel movement?


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    #3

    Re: moving bowels = bowel movement?

    To move ones' bowels= to do the big job ?

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: moving bowels = bowel movement?

    Move one's bowels, correct. A bowel movement, also bm, is a euphemism for defecation.


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    #5

    Re: moving bowels = bowel movement?

    Yes. Presumably not the same meaning as in the Song of Solomon, 5:4, King James version.

    "Big job"? Is that what they call it in French, M. Chomat? We are getting an exchange student next week and I want to be able to make myself understood. We have low-flow toilets in the house :)

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: moving bowels = bowel movement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delmobile View Post
    Yes. Presumably not the same meaning as in the Song of Solomon, 5:4, King James version.
    Probably not; that doesn't prevent generations of schoolboys from sniggering
    Quote Originally Posted by Delmobile View Post
    "Big job"? Is that what they call it in French, M. Chomat? We are getting an exchange student next week and I want to be able to make myself understood. We have low-flow toilets in the house :)
    I don't know about this idiom in French; but 'a big job' is, in rather dated British English, a childish euphemism (very childish - I don't think anyone older than 5 would say [or hear it]).

    b


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
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    #7

    Re: moving bowels = bowel movement?

    You learn something every day, and unless something else comes along, it looks like this British idiom will be it for me today, since I've never heard it before in my life. Not very inspiring, but I guess if I ever get a job at a nursery school in the UK it will be right handy. Thanks, BobK!

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    #8

    Re: moving bowels = bowel movement?

    There is no French idiom for big job. I learned it in England . I was more than 5 years old, Bob.but I take it as a compliment.
    In French there are expressions such as faire popo, to do the big job could be translated into Faire la grosse commission , poser sa pÍche ( to drop ones's peach). There are many other idons but I won't develop lest Mme DELMOBILE might mark me down as a filthy scatological French person ( e.g the spend a penny stuff)
    Now I'm moved too!

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    #9

    Re: moving bowels = bowel movement?

    Quote Originally Posted by CHOMAT View Post
    There is no French idiom for big job. I learned it in England . I was more than 5 years old, Bob.but I take it as a compliment.
    In French there are expressions such as faire popo, to do the big job could be translated into Faire la grosse commission , poser sa pÍche ( to drop ones's peach). There are many other idioms but I won't develop lest Mme DELMOBILE might mark me down as a filthy scatological French person ( e.g the spend a penny stuff)
    Now I'm moved too!
    idons ? idioms

  5. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #10

    Re: moving bowels = bowel movement?

    Quote Originally Posted by CHOMAT View Post
    Faire la grosse commission


    Bake a chicken in Western Canada.

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