From Middle English ordūr, ordūre (“dirt, filth, rubbish; dung, excrement, piece of excrement; moral filth, sin, an instance or kind of moral filth”), borrowed from Anglo-Norman ordure, ordeur(e), ordor(e), ordour, and Middle French ordure, from Old French ordure (“dirt, filth, refuse; dung, excrement; moral filth”) (modern French ordure), from ord (“filthy”) + -ure (“suffix forming nouns describing the results of actions”). Ord is derived from Latin horridus (“dreadful, frightful, horrid”), from horreō (“to stand erect, stand on end; to shiver, tremble; to be afraid of, dread; to be frightful”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰers- (“stiff; surprised”)) + -idus (“suffix meaning ‘tending to’”). The word is cognate with Late Latin ordura.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɔːdj(ʊ)ə/, /-dʒə/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɔɹdʒʊɹ/
- Hyphenation: or‧dure
- Dung, excrement.
- 1387–1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Parsons Tale”, in The Canterbury Tales, [Westminster: William Caxton, published 1478], OCLC 230972125; republished in [William Thynne], editor, The Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newlye Printed, […], [London]: Printed by [Richard Grafton for] Iohn Reynes […], 1542, OCLC 932884868, folio cvi, verso, column 1:
- 1733, “Dr. S——t” [pseudonym; formerly attributed to Jonathan Swift], Human Ordure, Botanically Considered. […], printed at Dublin, and reprinted at London: For F. Coggan […], OCLC 642355726, page 6:
- But there has none employed my Thoughts of late ſo much, as a very nice inquiſition, or inſpection, into the frequent differences we meet with Human Ordure. The World may ſay, perhaps, I had very little to do, and that ſo ſolemn and ſerious a Preface, ill became ſo foul a Subject; but let what will be ſaid, I can't help communicating my Sentiments, but will endeavour to wrap 'em up in as cleanly a manner, as the dirtineſs of the Theme will admit.
- 1776, Nathaniel Brassey Halhed, transl., “Chap. XVI. Of Assault.”, in A Code of Gentoo Laws, or, Ordinations of the Pundits, […], London: [s.n.], OCLC 906287501, section I (Of Assaults, and of Preparation to Assault), page 223:
- If a Man throws upon a Woman's body, from the Navel upwards to beneath the Neck, any Spue, or Urine, or Ordure, or Semen, the Magiſtrate ſhall fine him One Hundred and Twenty Puns of Cowries.
- 1843, “Public and Domestic Economy in France. [...] No. I.”, in The Magazine of Domestic Economy, and Family Review, volume I (New Series), London: Published by W[illiam] S[omerville] Orr & Co., […], OCLC 659351979, pages 289–290:
- It seems at first sight a strange thing that Paris, with its apparently pure air, should be by no means so healthy a place to live in as London. […] Another cause, not so sensible to the eye as to another organ, we have long believed to be, the universal accumulation of ordures in pestiferous cess-pools under or near almost every house. […] The removal of these ordures is periodical, and must take place in the night. […] From the cleaned-out dwellings the ordures are taken to the greatest laystall in the world, the Boyauteries of Montfaucon, famous for its filth, its carrion, and countless myriads of rats. Thence they are bought up by growers as manure for the land; […]
- 1882, “CLX.—Roll of the Presentments of the Mikletorn Jury. 1396, April 5. Presentments of the Great Tourn Taken before John de Plumptre, Mayor of the Town of Nottingham, on the Day and Year within-written.”, in W. Henry Stevenson and James Raine, editors, Records of the Borough of Nottingham: Being a Series of Extracts from the Archives of the Corporation of Nottingham […], volume I (King Henry II. to King Richard II., 1155–1399), London: Bernard Quaritch, […]; Nottingham, Nottinghamshire: Thomas Forman & Sons, OCLC 870062190, page 321:
- Also, they say that Margaret Samon, Nicholas Alastre, Thomas de Stanley, John Etwall, Richard Etwall, and William, son of Hugh Spicer, block up the common cavern of the aforesaid town on the northern side with ordure, weeds, and cinders, to the serious damage of the whole town aforesaid, etc.
- 1922 October 26, Virginia Woolf, chapter IX, in Jacob’s Room, Richmond, London: Published by Leonard & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, OCLC 19736994; republished London: The Hogarth Press, 1960, OCLC 258624721, pages 103–104:
- Only Madame herself seeing Jacob out had about her that leer, that lewdness, that quake of the surface (visible in the eyes chiefly), which threatens to spill the whole bag of ordure, with difficulty held together, over the pavement. In short, something was wrong.
- 1974 March 25, Victor Simon, Dehydration of Manure, US Patent 3,997,388.PN.&OS=PN/3,997,388&RS=PN/3,997,388 3,997,388 , page 3:
- The invention consists in a method of dehydrating animal ordure wherein the ordure is caused to move along a path and subjected to the simultaneous action of a hot air flow, and of ultrasonic and/or microwave radiation during such movement.
- 1989, Anthony Burgess, “Un”, in Any Old Iron, London: Hutchinson, →ISBN; republished New York, N.Y.: Washington Square Press, Pocket Books, 1990, →ISBN, page 27:
- David Jones had seen death on a vast and public scale but never before domestically and at close quarters. This domestic death revolted him. […] The bowels and bladder collapsed, sheets and mattress had to be burnt at the bottom of the back garden. The body, having vulgarly shed its ordures, now turned into an ordure itself.
- (by extension) Dirt, filth.
- (by extension) Something regarded as contaminating or perverting the morals; obscene material.
- 1738 February, [Lady Mary Wortley Montagu], “Nonsense of Common-sense. No. 7. Of Indecent Writers.”, in Sylvanus Urban [pseudonym; Edward Cave], editor, The Gentleman’s Magazine: And Historical Chronicle, volume VIII, London: Printed by Edw[ard] Cave, jun. […], OCLC 192374019, page 87, column 1:
- As my Papers are intended for ſhort Eſſays of Morality,—I ſhall leave to the Authors of Common-Senſe, the full Poſſeſſion of their Puns and Ordures, both now and evermore; […]
- 2012, Kevin Jackson, “November”, in Constellation of Genius: 1922: Modernism Year One, London: Hutchinson, →ISBN; 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013, →ISBN, page 320:
- [James] Douglas – who had recently railed against Aldous Huxley’s Antic Hay for its ‘ordure and blasphemy’, summed the book [Aleister Crowley’s Diary of a Drug Fiend (1922)] up as ‘describing the orgies of vice practsed by a group of moral degenerates who stimulate their degraded lusts by doses of cocaine and heroin’.
- (dung, excrement): see Thesaurus:feces
ordure f (plural ordures)
- garbage, refuse
- dung, animal faeces
- (slang) obscenity, filthy material
- (slang, derogatory) a filthy person
- “ordure” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).