"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Friday, 2 March 2012


   This is not a word one would normally come across but I just couldn't resist blogging it.  It has such a delightful sound - it's pronounced bor-buh-rig-muss.

Oh yes, It'd better give you its meaning as well.  It means a rumbling or gurgling sound caused by the movement of gas in the intestines.

The plural is borborygmi.

May you have no embarrassing borborygmi in the near future!


  1. Oh, this seems an interesting sound (although my dictionary does not have this word, so just I guess the pronunciation.) I would like to add this one to Japanese language as onomatopoe; there are countless onomatopoes in Japanese. I wonder whether this word cane be usded as a verb too??

  2. Hello Keiko - Borborygmus is related to the sixteenth-century French word borborygme, but goes further back into history with the Greek word borborugmos and you are right - the Greeks came across the word from its onomatopoeic value.

    I can't find a verb but there seems to be an adjective - In Ada, Vladimir Nabokov wrote: "All the toilets and waterpipes in the house had been suddenly seized with borborygmic convulsions". In A Long Way Down (1959), Elizabeth Fenwick wrote: "The room was very quiet, except for its borborygmic old radiator".