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Headword: Prôktos
Adler number: pi,2950
Translated headword: arse, ass
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the anus/rectum. [sc. Named] from the fact that it pushes forward the [contents] of the stomach.[1]
And a proverb: "look into a dog's arse!"[2] This they used to say to those suffering eye trouble. Aristophanes in Acharnians [writes]: "blow 'the dog's arse' on the bone-pipes."[3] And elsewhere Aristophanes [writes]: "let someone summon Antisthenes without fail, for to judge by moans this man knows what the arse requires when it needs to shit. O mistress Eileithyia, may you never stand by and watch me being split apart, nor stoppered-up."[4] Meaning being overcome by the dung. Antisthenes [was] an effeminate physician. On the subject of Kleon Aristophanes says, "he had an arse of a chimney."[5]
The anus/rectum.
[sc. So called] from the fact that it sends forth.[6]
Greek Original:
Prôktos: ho kolos. para to proôthein ta tês gastros. kai paroimia: eis prôkton kunos blepe. touto epelegon tois ophthalmiôsin. Aristophanês Acharneusi: tois ostinois phusate ton prôkton kunos. kai authis Aristophanês: Antisthenê tis kalesatô pasêi technêi: houtos gar anêr heneka ge stenagmatôn oide ti prôktos bouletai chezêtiôn. ô potni' Eileithuia, mê me periïdêis diarragenta, mêde bebalanômenon. anti tou katechomenon hupo tês koprou. ho de Antisthenês iatros thêludrias. peri Kleônos phêsin Aristophanês: prôkton d' eiche kaminou. ho kolos. para to proïenai.
On the headword, prwkto/s, and its 'low tone' see J.Henderson, The Maculate Muse (New Haven 1975) 201 and passim. With the present entry cf. beta 214, omicron 713, pi 3110, chi 182; and see also pi 2951, pi 2952.
[1] An etymology based on phonological resemblance: to push forward (prowqei=n) + stomach (gasth/r) yields anus (prwkto/s).
[2] Appendix Proverbiorum 2.25 and other paroemiographers.
[3] Aristophanes, Acharnians 863 (web address 1), with scholion.
[4] Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae [Assemblywomen] 367 (web address 2), with scholion.
[5] A variant version of Aristophanes, Wasps 1035 (web address 3), repeated Peace 758. The reading prwkto\n de\ kamh/lou ('an arse of a camel') occurs in all of the mss of Wasps and some of those of Peace. (In pronunciation kami/nou and kamh/lou would only differ by one letter in the Suda's time, so possibly a dictation error.)
[6] An alternative etymology, added in ms. A: send forth (proi+e/nai) yields arse (prwkto/s).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: architecture; biography; comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; gender and sexuality; imagery; medicine; meter and music; poetry; politics; proverbs; religion; science and technology; stagecraft; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 3 October 2006@19:42:36.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmeticule) on 4 October 2006@00:57:25.
William Hutton on 4 October 2006@02:29:30.
David Whitehead (tweaked headword and tr; augmented notes; raised status) on 4 October 2006@03:38:14.
William Hutton (augmented note 5 and added another link) on 4 October 2006@04:35:02.
David Whitehead (tweaked n.5 and tr thereto) on 4 October 2006@05:50:01.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr) on 5 October 2006@09:14:47.
David Whitehead (more x-refs; cosmetics) on 29 November 2011@04:13:43.
David Whitehead on 22 October 2013@05:09:38.
David Whitehead (coding) on 25 May 2016@03:38:19.


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