In medicine and biology, scatology or coprology is the study of feces.

Scatological studies allow one to determine a wide range of biological information about a creature, including its diet (and thus where it has been), healthiness, and diseases such as tapeworms. The word derives from the Greek σκώρ (genitive σκατός, modern σκατό, pl. σκατά) meaning "feces".

A comprehensive study of scatology was documented by John Gregory Bourke under the title Scatalogic Rites of All Nations (1891). An abbreviated version of the work (with a foreword by Sigmund Freud), was published as The Portable Scatalog in 1994.[1]



In psychology, a scatology is an obsession with excretion or excrement, or the study of such obsessions. (See also coprophilia).


In a sexual context scatology refers to the romanticism of fecal matter. Whether in passing admiration, the use of feces in various sexual acts, or simply the act of seeing it. Entire subcultures in sexuality are devoted to this fetish.


In literature, "scatological" is a term to denote the literary trope of the grotesque body. It is used to describe works that make particular reference to excretion or excrement, as well as to toilet humor. A common example is John Dryden's MacFlecknoe, a poem that ridicules Dryden's contemporary, Thomas Shadwell. Dryden refers to him as "Thomas Sh--," deliberately evoking scatological imagery. In German literature in particular is a wealth of scatological texts and references, which includes such books as Collofino's Non Olet.[2] A case which has provoked an unusual amount of comment in the academic literature is Mozart's scatological humour.

See also


  1. ^ Kaplan, Louis P. (1994). The Portable Scatalog. New York: William Morrow and Company. ISBN 0688132065. 
  2. ^ Dundes, Alan; Carl R. Pagter (1992). Work hard and you shall be rewarded: urban folklore from the paperwork empire. Wayne State UP. p. 75–80. ISBN 9780814324325. 


Further reading

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  • scatology — (n.) obscene literature, 1876, from Gk. skat , stem of skor (gen. skatos) excrement (from PIE root *sker to defecate ) + logy treatise, study. Related: Scatological …   Etymology dictionary

  • scatology — ► NOUN ▪ a preoccupation with excrement and excretion. DERIVATIVES scatological adjective. ORIGIN from Greek sk r dung …   English terms dictionary

  • scatology — [skə täl′ə jē] n. [ SCATO + LOGY] 1. the study of feces or of fossil excrement 2. obscenity or obsession with the obscene, esp. with excrement or excretion, in literature scatological [skat΄ə läj′i kəl] adj …   English World dictionary

  • Scatology (album) — Infobox Album Name = Scatology Type = studio Artist = Coil Caption = original LP cover Released = 1984 Recorded = Genre = Industrial, Experimental Length = CD 55:04 Label = Force Form, Some Bizarre, Threshold House Producer = Coil Reviews =… …   Wikipedia

  • scatology — noun Etymology: Greek skat , skōr excrement; akin to Old English scearn dung, Latin muscerdae mouse droppings Date: 1876 1. interest in or treatment of obscene matters especially in literature 2. the biologically oriented study of excrement (as… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • scatology — scatological /skat l oj i keuhl/, scatologic, adj. /skeuh tol euh jee/, n. 1. the study of or preoccupation with excrement or obscenity. 2. obscenity, esp. words or humor referring to excrement. 3. the study of fossil excrement. Also called… …   Universalium

  • scatology — noun a) The scientific study, or the chemical analysis of faeces. ...lingo of the streets with its spewed out scatologies and its anti womanist rhetoric of hoes and bitches mdash; all so evocative of life in the ghetto... b) A filthy …   Wiktionary

  • scatology — 1. The scientific study and analysis of feces, for physiologic and diagnostic purposes. SYN: coprology. 2. The study relating to the psychiatric aspects of excrement or excremental (anal) function. [ …   Medical dictionary

  • scatology — Synonyms and related words: argot, bad language, billingsgate, blue language, cant, colorful language, cursing, cussing, dirty language, dirty talk, dysphemism, evil speaking, filth, filthy language, foul language, gibberish, gobbledygook, jargon …   Moby Thesaurus

  • scatology — (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun Something that is offensive to accepted standards of decency: bawdry, dirt, filth, obscenity, profanity, ribaldry, smut, vulgarity. Slang: raunch. See DECENT …   English dictionary for students

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