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See also: túrd and tűrd



From Middle English toord, tord, from Old English tord (piece of dung, excrement, filth), from Proto-West Germanic *tord, from Proto-Germanic *turdą (manure, mud), from Proto-Indo-European *der- (to split, flay). Cognate with Old English tyrdel (dropping, small piece of excrement), Old High German zort (dung, excrement), Old Norse torð- (dung-, in compounds), Middle Dutch tord (lump of excrement). More at tear, treddle.



turd (plural turds)

  1. (informal, mildly vulgar) A piece of solid animal or human feces.
    Ugh, there are turds in the toilet that haven’t been flushed away.
    • 1658, John Mennes; James Smith, “A Poeticall Poem, by Mr. Stephen Locket to Mistrisse Bess Sarney”, in Facetiae. Musarum Deliciae: Or, The Muses Recreation, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1817, OCLC 230583538, page 203:
      Thy teeth more comely than two dirty rakes are, / Thy breath is stronger than a douzen jakes are. / A fart for all perfumes, a turd for roses / Smell men but thee, they wish them selves all noses.
    • 1671, Desiderius Erasmus, “The Sermon, or Merdardus”, in H. M., transl., Colloquies, London: H. Brome, B. Tooke, and T. Sawbridge, page 462:
      How gladly would I have ſtopt the filthy mouth of that long-tongued fellow with a turd!
    • 1715, John Philips, The Earl of Mar Marr'd. With the Humours of Jockey, The Highlander: A Tragi-comical Farce, 2nd edition, London: E. Curll, →OCLC, act II, scene ii, page 11:
      [H]e's nea in a Banter by my Saul, gin ye had bean bye when he wreet, ye wold ha ſeen his Face furrow'd lik a dry Cow-Turd, an his Eyn as keen as an Engliſh Bull-Dog, an his Back as high as a Camels, ſo grat was his Wrath, an now he be a Soldier it be tan Times bigger.
    • 1737, Francis Rabelais, “Of the Qualities and Conditions of Panurge”, in John Ozell, transl., The Works of Francis Rabelais [...], book II (Gargantua and Pantagruel), London: J. Brindley, C. Corbett, →OCLC, pages 142–143:
      When he met with any of them upon the Street, he would never fail to put ſome Trick or other upon them; ſometimes putting a fry'd Turd in their graduate Hoods; [] One Day that the Theologians were appointed all to meet in the Sorbonne, he made a Barbonneſa Tart, made of Store of Garlick, Galbanum, Aſſa fœtida, Caſtoreum, Dogs Turds very warm; which he ſteep'd, temper'd, and liquify'd in the corrupt Matter of pocky Biles and peſtiferous Botches; and, very early in the Morning, therewith anointed all the Lattices and Grates of the Sorbonne in ſuch ſort, that the Devil could not have endured it.
    • 1977, Richard Adams, The Plague Dogs:
      [] just as Snitter felt himself exhausted and unable to do more, Rowf's rump slid suddenly forward as smoothly as a turd from a healthy anus []
    • 1986 December 11, Ralph Estling, “You're a good man, Charlie Darwin”, in New Scientist, volume 112, number 1538, London: IPC Magazines, →OCLC, page 56:
      Thus, an insect that has evolved the useful disguise of looking very much like a piece of dung in order to damp the enthusiasm of any non-coprophagous predator is clearly on to a good thing but, as Stephen Jay Gould has wisely observed, what is the adaptive value in looking only 5 per cent like a turd?
    • 2005, Sean Dooley, The Big Twitch, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, page 292:
      Hell, as bird number 697 they could have looked like old turds and I still would have got excited.
    • 2012, Sue Townsend, The Woman who Went to Bed for a Year, London: Michael Joseph, →ISBN:
      The sausage on my plate could have been a turd, it tasted like a turd, it smelled like a turd, it had the texture of a turd. In fact, thinking about it, it probably was a turd.
  2. (informal, mildly vulgar, derogatory) A worthless person or thing.
    • 2008, James Patrick Hunt, Goodbye Sister Disco, New York, N.Y.: St. Martin's Minotaur, →ISBN:
      Last year, he arrested some crankhead turd, brings him down to the station. The guy's cuffed and Fred sets him down on the bench in the booking room. Now you know Fred, right? Not an abusive guy. Never even talks smack to suspects. Well, this turd, he starts kicking and shouting, []
    • 2014, Stephen King, Mr. Mercedes: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Scribner, →ISBN, page 56:
      "Don't be a turd," Freddi says. "Don't be a Tones Turd." / "If telling the truth makes a man a turd, then a turd I shall be." / "Yeah," Freddi says. "You'll go down in history. Tones the Truth-Telling Turd. Kids will learn about you in school."

Derived terms



turd (third-person singular simple present turds, present participle turding, simple past and past participle turded)

  1. (rare, slang) To defecate.
    • 1926, Hart Crane, letter, 7 May:
      You ought to see that owlet [] . We brought it to table and it turded in F's salad, it sits on your finger and squeaks like Peggy does when she gets tipsy.
    • c. 1952, Jack Kerouac, Visions of Cody:
      [P]iano dropped chords like a Wolfean horse turding in the steamy Brooklyn winter morn