Hi guys

Is there such a term as 'passing motion', meaning 'defaecating'?

If I'm in the toilet defaecating and if someone asks what I'm doing, and I want to tell him or her exactly what I'm doing, what is the polite term to use?
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Hey there Yoong, all I would say is that I am in the bathroom. Most people can figure out what you are doing in there, so you don't really need to get more specific than that. By the way, I don't think there is such thing as "passing motion". Passing gas means to fart, in case you need to use that sometime!!!

Good luck,


You can say I'm on the toilet, which can only mean one thing.

I havent heard of passing motion either.
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Hello Dan and Funnybone

I believe there should a polite way of saying it. For example, if my brother is in the toilet and I want to urinate, I would like to find out whether he is defaecating because if he is doing that, I will go to the nearest public toilet to pass urine.

I'm not sure whether the term 'passing motion' exists although it is commonly used in Singapore and, in fact, I've seen it in a local medical journal.

Many people of my cultural background are what you might think of as surprisingly reluctant to discuss such matters at all. In fact, we are so reticent that what you wrote seems to me to be both rather shocking and rather funny in its directness. Apparently, in your culture, such inhibitions are not the norm.

If I absolutely had to speak to my brother, through a closed toilet door, I'd probably say something like 'Are you going to be long?'

Best wishes, Clive
Hi Clive

You say "Apparently, in your culture, such inhibitions are not the norm." Yes, you're right. For us the problem is what the proper term should be?
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The term defaecating is precise. However, you asked for the polite term. I think you need to decide that, based on your knowledge of politeness in your culture.

Why don't you just say defaecating? Do you find that impolite?

Best wishes, Clive
pooing is a relatively inoffensive term for this (but it is still NOT really something we discuss in the west).
Hi again,

Is there such a term as 'passing motion', meaning 'defaecating'?

There are many euphemisms and circumlocutions. One of these is 'to move your bowels' or 'to have a bowel motion'. A doctor might possibly use this term to a patient but, generally speaking, today it sounds extremely old-fashioned, to the point of being funny.

Some children speak in terms of 'doing/going #1' and 'doing/going #2'.

Best wishes, Clive
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