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Headword: Πρωκτός
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:
Πρωκτός: ὁ κόλος. παρὰ τὸ προωθεῖν τὰ τῆς γαστρός. καὶ παροιμία: εἰς πρωκτὸν κυνὸς βλέπε. τοῦτο ἐπέλεγον τοῖς ὀφθαλμιῶσιν. Ἀριστοφάνης Ἀχαρνεῦσι: τοῖς ὀστίνοις φυσᾶτε τὸν πρωκτὸν κυνός. καὶ αὖθις Ἀριστοφάνης: Ἀντισθένη τις καλεσάτω πάσῃ τέχνῃ: οὗτος γὰρ ἀνὴρ ἕνεκά γε στεναγμάτων οἶδε τί πρωκτὸς βούλεται χεζητιῶν. ὦ πότνι' Εἰλείθυια, μή με περιί̈δῃς διαρραγέντα, μηδὲ βεβαλανωμένον. ἀντὶ τοῦ κατεχόμενον ὑπὸ τῆς κόπρου. ὁ δὲ Ἀντισθένης ἰατρὸς θηλυδρίας. περὶ Κλέωνός φησιν Ἀριστοφάνης: πρωκτὸν δ' εἶχε καμίνου. ὁ κόλος. παρὰ τὸ προϊέναι.
On the headword, πρωκτός , 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 (προωθεῖν ) + stomach (γαστήρ ) yields anus (πρωκτός ).
[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 πρωκτὸν δὲ καμήλου ('an arse of a camel') occurs in all of the mss of Wasps and some of those of Peace. (In pronunciation καμίνου and καμήλου 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 (προϊέναι ) yields arse (πρωκτός ).
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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