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Quotations about Flatulence

Welcome to my page of quotations about flatulence, also known as farting, having gas, breaking wind, cutting the cheese, etc. You may be surprised to see how many notable authors throughout history have written on this topic.  SEE ALSO:  BURPING BAD BREATH EATING MANNERS CURSING LAUGHTER HUMOR BODY MEDICAL  –Terri

And he had made a trumpet of his arse. ~Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), Inferno, Divine Comedy

He that lives upon Hope, dies farting. ~Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard: An Almanack For the Year of Christ 1736

      Love is the fart
      Of every heart;
It pains a man when 'tis kept close,
And others doth offend when 'tis let loose.
~John Suckling (1609–1642), "Loving and Beloved"

This Nicholas just then let fly a fart
As loud as it had been a thunder-clap,
And well-nigh blinded Absalom, poor chap;
But he was ready with his iron hot
And Nicholas right in the arse he got.
~Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1342–1400), "The Miller's Tale" (Canterbury Tales)

Petarrade, (French) a gun-shot of farting... ~The New World of English Words: Or, a General Dictionary, collected and published by Edward Phillips with the assistance of other learned gentlemen and artists, 1658  [the first folio English dictionary —tg]

After this I did a very merry thing: for, as the God was approaching, I let a loud Fart; for my Belly was cursedly puffed up with the Porridge... his Daughter redden'd a little; and her Sister turned away her Head, holding her Nose: for I assure you I fart no Frankincense. ~Aristophanes, Plutus, the God of Riches: A Comedy, 408 BCE, translated from the original Greek by Henry Fielding and William Young, 1742  [Spoken by Cario. Text a little altered. —tg]

You stand out like a fart in church. ~James Patterson, The Final Warning, 2008  [Nudge —tg]

A Belch is but a Fart half digested... ~Jonathan Swift, "The Benefit of Farting Explain'd," 1722

I will maintain (and that at the risk of my life and fortune), that a true, genuine, open, honest, unsophisticated Fart, commonly called a rouzer, is the best criterion of a strong stamina and a sound constitution. ~Jonathan Swift, "The Benefit of Farting Explain'd," 1722

A man may break a word with you, sir, and words are but wind,
Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not behind.
~William Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors, c. 1589  [III, 1, Dromio of Ephesus]

Furthermore, there shall not one hereafter, native of the country of Salmigondy, but he shall level the shot towards my nose: all the back-cracking fellows of the world, in discharging of their postern petarades, use commonly to say Voila pour les quittes:  that is, for the quit... I recommend to you the making of my epitaph; for I perceive I shall die confected in the very stench of farts. If at any time to come, by way of restorative to such good women as shall happen to be troubled with the grievous pain of the wind-cholic, the ordinary medicaments prove nothing effectual, the mummy of all my befarted body will straight be as a present remedy appointed by the physicians; whereof they taking any small modicum, it will incontinently for their ease afford them a rattle of bumshot, like a sal of muskets. ~François Rabelais (1494–1553), "How Pantagruel Altogether Abhorreth the Debtors and Borrowers," The Third Book of the Heroic Deeds and Sayings of Good Pantagruel, 1546

You like science, don't ya? Chili is science. It's chemistry, son. See, chili represents your three states of matter:  solid, liquid, and eventually gas. ~Roseanne, "Don't Make Me Over," 1992, written by Maxine Lapiduss, Don Foster, & Sid Youngers  [S4, E24, Dan Conner]

’Tis also a great Promoter of Mirth, for I have known one single Fart, that made an Escape, raise a Laugh of half an Hour; and the Celebrated Author of a Book, called, Laugh and Be Fat, proves Laughing to be a very wholesome Exercise. ~Jonathan Swift, The Benefit of Farting Explain'd, 1722

The frequent fits of Laughing and Crying, without any sensible cause (Symptoms common to such as are troubled with the Vapours), are plainly accountable from this Suppression; for the Windy Vapour getting into the Muscles that assist in Laughing, inflates them, and occasions their laughing; but if this vapour, when raised to the Head, is there condensed by a cold melancholy constitution, it distills through the Eyes in the form of Tears. ~Don Fart-in-hando Puff-in-dorst, Professor of Bum-bast in the University of Craccow (Jonathan Swift), "The Benefit of Farting Explain'd: or, The Fundament-all Cause of the Distempers incident to the Fair Sex Inquir'd into: Proving à posteriori most of the Disorders in-tail'd on 'em are owing to Flatulencies not seasonably vented," translated into English at the Request of and for the Use of the Lady Damp-Fart of Her-fart-shire by Obadiah Fizzle, and dedicated to this Lady of Dis-stink-tion, with notes by Nicholas Nincom-poop, Esq., 1722

Having explained the Nature and Essence of a FART, I shall next enquire into the ill Consequences of suppressing it, which are almost obvious to every one's Experience; for in its Retrogradation, it causes CHOLICKS, HYSTERICKS, RUMBLINGS, BELCHING, SPLEEN, &c. but in Women of a more strong Constitution, it vents itself intirely in Talkativeness; hence we have a Reason, why Women are more Talkative than Men; for as the Poet observes,
      Words own Wind to be their Mother,
      Which stop't at one end, burst out at t'other.
Hence comes the usual Saying, Tell a Tale, or let a FART; implying the Necessity of Vent, one Way or t'other. ~Jonathan Swift, The Benefit of Farting Explain'd, 1722

      Len pointed out a related shortcoming to the breath hydrogen test. When people, stereotypically women, hold in their gas, they absorb more of it into their bloodstream, "so it comes out in the breath." This artificially raises their breath hydrogen numbers and may serve to explain the occasional highly counterintuitive finding that women are more flatulent than men...
      Kligerman stirred his chili.  "I don't know, Len. I don't know what the ultimate fate of a suppressed fart is."  ~Mary Roach, "Dead Man's Bloat: And other diverting tales from the history of flatulence research," Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, 2013

A FART, though wholesome, does not fail,
If barr’d of Passage by the Tail,
To fly back to the Head again,
And by its Fumes disturb the Brain:
Thus Gun-powder confin’d, you know, Sir,
Grows stronger, as ’tis ramm’d the closer;
But, if in open Air it fires,
In harmless Smoke its Force expires.
~Jonathan Swift, The Benefit of Farting Explain'd, 1722

Marissa:  I need some advice.
Dr Bull:  Eat more fiber. No one will want to be around you, but who cares — you'll outlive them.
~Bull, "Doctor Killer," 2019, written by Larry Kaplow  [S4, E7]

      "But look! The frobscottle is fizzing the wrong way!" Sophie cried. The bubbles, instead of travelling upwards and bursting on the surface, were shooting downwards and bursting at the bottom.
      "Upwards is the wrong way!" cried the BFG. "Upgoing bubbles is a catasterous disastrophe! When you is drinking this cokey drink of yours, it is going straight down into your tummy, and the bubbles is fizzing upwards, which means that they will all come swishwiffling up your throat and out of your mouth and make a foulsome belchy burp!"
      "That is often true," Sophie said. "But what's wrong with a little burp now and again? It's sort of fun."
      "Burping is filthsome," the BFG said.
      "But with your frobscottle drink," Sophie said, "the bubbles in your tummy will be going downwards and that could have a far nastier result, coming out somewhere else with an even louder and ruder noise."
      "A whizzpopper!" cried the BFG, beaming at her. "Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping is forbidden among human beans?"
      "It is considered extremely rude," Sophie said. "Everyone whizzpops, now and again. Kings and Queens are whizzpopping, Presidents, glamorous film stars, little babies. But where I come from, it is not polite to talk about it."
      "Redunculous!" said the BFG. "If everyone is making whizzpoppers, then why not talk about it?" ~Roald Dahl, The BFG, 1982  [a little altered —tg]

The BFG shook the bottle of frobscottle vigorously. The pale green stuff fizzed and bubbled. He removed the cork and took a tremendous gurgling swig. "It's glummy!" he cried. "I love it!" For a few moments, the Big Friendly Giant stood quite still, and a look of absolute ecstasy began to spread over his long wrinkly face. Then suddenly the heavens opened and he let fly with a series of the loudest and rudest noises Sophie had ever heard in her life. They reverberated around the walls of the cave like thunder and the glass jars rattled on their shelves. But most astonishing of all, the force of the explosions actually lifted the enormous giant clear off his feet, like a rocket. "Whoopee!" he cried, when he came down to earth again. "Now that is whizzpopping for you!" ~Roald Dahl, The BFG, 1982

"What, are you trying to kill us?"... Marcus smirked. "You never cook onions with your beans. That's a recipe for tear gas." ~Justin Swapp, The Shadow's Servant, 2018

He that dines on stale Flesh, especially with much Addition of Onions, shall be able to afford a Stink that no Company can tolerate; while he that has lived for some time on vegetables only, shall have that Breath so pure as to be insensible to the most delicate Noses; and if he can manage so as to avoid the Report, he may any where give vent to his Griefs, unnoticed. ~Benjamin Franklin, excerpted from an unsent satirical letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels, 1781, in Curious and Facetious Letters of Benjamin Franklin, Hitherto Unpublished, 1898

Scrambled eggs, bacon, green chiles for breakfast, with hot salsa, toasted tortillas, and leftover baked potatoes sliced and fried. A gallon or two of coffee, tea and — for me — the usual breakfast beer. Henry would not have approved of this gourmandising. To hell with him. I do not approve of his fastidious puritanism. For one who claims to crave nothing but reality, he frets too much about purity... Thoreau recommends a diet of raw fruits and vegetables; like a Pythagorean, he finds even beans impure, since the flatulence that beans induce disturbs his more ethereal meditations. (He would not agree with most men that “farting is such sweet sorrow.”) ~Edward Abbey, "Down the River with Henry Thoreau," 1982

The olfactory notes of sulfur gases — hydrogen sulfide, methanethiol, dimethyl sulfide — contribute to the overall bouquet of flatus. Though lesser players contribute as well, it is for the most part these three notes, in subtly shifting combinations and percentages, that create the infinite olfactory variety of human flatus. To quote Alan Kligerman, "A gas smell is as characteristic of a person as a fingerprint is."  But harder to dust for. ~Mary Roach, "Smelling a Rat: Does noxious flatus do more than clear a room?," Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, 2013  [a little altered —tg]

Quoth H—ph—y, belching, and another
Thing, which some folks call belching's brother...
~Hew Dalrymple, Rodondo; or, The State Jugglers, 1763

From a proud unicorn stallion vomiting rainbows as he soars across the sky to toy unicorns pooping rainbows as colored jellybeans, modern culture puts its own twist on potty humor by making it light and fluffy. Don't get stuck asking yourself why unicorns fart rainbows — it's the juxtaposition of a magical creature and a disgusting everyday act that creates the joke., 2016

I swear by the self-assurance with which elderly men sitting in public tilt sideways to allow the gas to escape loudly. ~Pawan Mishra, Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy, 2015

Socrates.  Have you never then ate the broth-puddings you get when the Panathenæa comes round,
And felt with what might your bowels all night in turbulent tumult resound?
Strepsiades.  By Apollo, ’tis true, there’s a mighty to-do, and my belly keeps rumbling about;
And the puddings begin to clatter within and to kick up a wonderful rout:
Quite gently at first, papapax, papapax, but soon pappapappax away,
Till at last, I'll be bound, I can thunder as loud, papapappappapappax, as They.
~Aristophanes, The Clouds, 423 BCE, translated from Greek into corresponding metres, 1851

The circulating air supply in NASA spacesuits is filtered with activated charcoal, lest astronauts' flatus be blown across their face three times a minute for the remainder of the spacewalk. ~Mary Roach, "Smelling a Rat: Does noxious flatus do more than clear a room?," Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, 2013

Then it came again, thunderous, earthshaking, the longest, loudest and most superbly stupendous fart that I have ever heard in my life, a sound of such magnificent and prolonged volume as to appear utterly beyond human capability. With a shock I realized that it was I who was the author of this elephantine and sonoric flatulence... ~Gavin Maxwell, Raven Seek Thy Brother, 1968

'Elephants,' Foxfield remarked in parenthesis, 'suffer greatly from wind. They go about the African forests making borborygmic noises. Travellers remark upon the overwhelming smell a herd of elephants leaves behind it. It seems improbable that this was the original state of affairs. Something has changed about their food — even in the forest.' ~H. G. Wells, Apropos of Dolores, 1938

Don't ever tell the mother of a newborn that her baby's smile is just gas. ~Jill Woodhull

I think I would know Nora's fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. ~James Joyce, 1909

No matter how politely one says it, we owe our existence to the farts of blue-green algae. ~Diane Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain, 2004

Peppermint is a stimulant and carminative. It is frequently used to relieve pains of flatulent colic and to expel flatus. ~Laurence Johnson, M.D., "Mentha Piperita," A Medical Formulary, 1882

Clichés are static, the emotion behind them long spent. If you are tempted to use them, here is a saying of my mother's:  Fang pi bu-cho, cho pi bu-fang.  Basically that translates to:  "Loud farts don't stink, and the really smelly ones don't make a sound."  In other words:  When you're full of beans, you just blow a lot of hot air. If you want to have a real impact, be deadly but silent. Oh, also recognize the difference between a bad cliché and a good quotation. My mother's saying is a good quotation. You should use it often. ~Amy Tan, The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings, 2003

The truth is, I borrowed that phrase ["invisible strength"] from my mother, who used to say something like it to me whenever I was whining out loud. She'd say, "Fang pi bu-cho, cho pi bu-fang," which is commonly uttered by Chinese parents, and which translates approximately to: "There's more power in silence."  What my mother intended that I understand, however, was precisely this:  "No one wants to hear you make a big stink over nothing, so shut up."  The strict linguist might want to note that the literal translation of that Chinese phrase runs along these noble lines:  "Loud farts don't smell, the really smelly ones are deadly silent." ~Amy Tan, The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, 2004 edition

In real life, people fart, right? In the movies, people don’t. Why not?... In every cowboy picture, the cowboys sit around the campfire and eat 140,000 beans, and you never hear a burp, let alone a bloozer. For 75 years these big, hairy brutes have been smashing their fists into each other’s faces and blasting each other full of holes with six-guns, but in all that time, not one has had the courage to produce a fart. I think that’s funny. I think the farting scene in Blazing Saddles is funny because farts in our world are funny. Farts are a repressed minority. The mouth gets to say all kinds of things, but the other place is supposed to keep quiet. But maybe our lower colons have something interesting to say. Maybe we should listen to them. Farts are human, more human than a lot of people I know. I think we should bring them out of the water closet and into the parlor... ~Mel Brooks, interview with Brad Darrach, in Playboy, 1975

Beans are neither fruit nor musical. ~The Simpsons, "Bart of Darkness," 1994, written by Dan McGrath, Bill Canterbury, & David S. Cohen  [S6, E1]

ARS  MUSICA:  a bum-fiddle. ~Francis Grose, ed., A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1785

Comedy is there to basically show us we fart, we laugh — to make us realize we still are part animal. As intellectual as we think we are, we still trip. We still have human foibles, sexuality, all the different things that still make you aware of your humanity... It's just to keep us awake... all that stuff so you don't take yourself seriously and destroy the species. ~Robin Williams, on the role of the artist in society, interview with Lawrence Grobel, 1991

But now, to solve the natural cause
By sober philosophic laws;
Whether all passions, when in ferment,
Work out as anger does in vermin;
So, when a weasel you torment,
You find his passion by his scent...
Watching the first unsavory wind,
Some ply before and some behind.
My lord, on fire amid the dames,
Farts like a laurel in the flames.
The fair approach the speaking part,
To try the back way to his heart.
For, as when we a gun discharge,
Although the bore be ne'er so large,
Before the flame from muzzle burst,
Just at the breach it flashes first;
So from my lord his passion broke,
He farted first, and then he spoke...
Quoth Neal, whate'er the rest may think,
I'm sure 'twas I that smelt the stink...
~Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), "The Problem"

There are two things that should be avoided; the deadly upas tree and soda water. The latter will make you puffy and poddy. ~Ambrose Bierce

      It is universally well known, That in digesting our common food, there is created or produced in the Bowels of human Creatures, a great quantity of Wind.
      That the permitting this Air to escape and mix with the Atmosphere, is usually offensive to the Company, from the fetid Smell that accompanyes it.
      That all well bred People therefore, to avoid giving such offence, forcibly restrain the Efforts of Nature to discharge that Wind.
      That so retained contrary to Nature, it not only gives frequently great present pain, but occasions future Diseases such as habitual Cholics, Ruptures, Tympanies, &c., often destructive of the Constitution, and sometimes of Life itself.
      Were it not for the odiously offensive smell accompanying such escapes, polite People would probably be under no more restraint in discharging such Wind in Company, than they are in spitting or in blowing their Noses.
      My Prize Question therefore should be:  To discover some Drug, wholesome and not disagreeable, to be mixed with our common food, or sauces, that shall render the natural discharges of Wind from our Bodies, not only inoffensive, but agreeable as Perfumes.
      For the Encouragement of this Enquiry (from the immortal Honour to be reasonably expected by the Inventor) let it be considered of how small importance to Mankind, or to how small a Part of Mankind have been useful those Discoveries in Science that have heretofore made Philosophers famous. Are there twenty men in Europe at this day the happier, or even the easier for any knowledge they have pick’d out of Aristotle? What Comfort can the Vortices of Descartes give to a Man who has Whirlwinds in his Bowels!
      And surely such a liberty of ex-pressing one's Scent-iments, and pleasing one another, is of infinitely more importance to human happiness than that liberty of the Press, or of abusing one another, which the English are so ready to fight and die for. ~Benjamin Franklin, excerpted from an unsent satirical letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels, 1781, in Curious and Facetious Letters of Benjamin Franklin, Hitherto Unpublished, 1898

      In ye heat of ye talk it befel yt one did breake wind, yielding an exceding mightie and distresfull stink, whereat all did laugh full sore, and then—
      Ye Queene.— Verily in mine eight and sixty yeres have I not heard the fellow to this fart. Meseemeth, by ye grete sound and clamour of it, it was male; yet ye belly it did lurk behinde shoulde now fall lean and flat against ye spine of him yt hath bene delivered of so stately and so waste a bulk, where as ye guts of them yt doe quiff-splitters bear, stand comely still and rounde. Prithee let ye author confess ye offspring. Will my Lady Alice testify?
      Lady Alice Dilberry.— Good your grace, an’ I had room for such a thunderbust within mine ancient bowels, ’tis not in reason I coulde discharge ye same and live to thank God for yt He did choose handmaid so humble whereby to shew his power. Nay, ’tis not I yt have broughte forth this rich o’ermastering fog, this fragrant gloom, so pray you seeke ye further.
      Lady Margery Boothy.— It was not I, your maisty.
      Ye Queene.— O’ God’s name, who hath favored us? Hath it come to pass yt a fart shall fart itself? Not such a one as this, I trow. Young Master Beaumont — but no; ’twould have wafted him to heaven like down of goose’s boddy. ’Twas not ye little Lady Helen — nay, ne’er blush, my child; thoul’t tickle thy tender maidenhedde with many a mousie-squeak before thou learnest to blow a harricane like this. Wasn’t you, my learned and ingenious Jonson?
      Mr. Ben Jonson.— So fell a blast hath ne’er mine ears saluted, nor yet a stench so all-pervading and immortal. ’Twas not a novice did it, good your maisty, but one of veteran experience — else hadde he failed of confidence. In sooth it was not I.
      Ye Queene.— My lord Bacon?
      Lord Bacon.— Not from my leane entrailes hath this prodigy burst forth, so please your grace. Naught doth so befit ye grete as grete performance; and haply shall ye finde yt ’tis not from mediocrity this miracle hath issued.
      Shaxpur.— In the great hand of God I stand and so proclaim mine innocence. Though ye sinless hosts of heaven had foretold ye coming of this most desolating breath, proclaiming it a work of uninspired man, its quaking thunders, its firmament-clogging rottenness his own achievement in due course of nature, yet had not I believed it; but had said the pit itself hath furnished forth the stink, and heaven’s artillery hath shook the globe in admiration of it.
      Sir Walter Ralegh.— Most gracious maisty, ’twas I that did it, but indeed it was so poor and frail a note, compared with such as I am wont to furnish, yt in sooth I was ashamed to call the weakling mine in so august a presence. It was nothing — less than nothing, madam — I did it but to clear my nether throat; but had I come prepared, then had I delivered something worthy. Bear with me, please your grace, till I can make amends. [Then delivered he himself of such a godless and rock-shivering blast that all were fain to stop their ears, and following it did come so dense and foul a stink that that which went before did seem a poor and trifling thing beside it.]
      ~Mark Twain, extracted from 1601. Conversation, As It Was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors, 1876

Glendower.  I say the earth did shake when I was born...
Hotspur (Henry Percy).
O, then the earth shook to see the heavens on fire,
And not in fear of your nativity.
Diseased nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions; oft the teeming earth
Is with a kind of colic pinch'd and vex'd
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
Within her womb; which, for enlargement striving,
Shakes the old beldam earth and topples down
Steeples and moss-grown towers. At your birth
Our grandam earth, having this distemperature,
In passion shook.
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, c. 1597  [III, 1]

I had a phone meeting with Ted
Whom it turns out was ill in his bed.
      He thought it was muted
      And went on and pooted
To find he'd pushed "speaker" instead.
~wikiHow, "The Smooth Operator," How to Write a Limerick, co-authored by Alicia Cook, 2022,,

Mother:  Thou was born, O my daughter, on the very night when Abu Hasan farted.
Abu Hasan:  Verily thy fart hath become a date, which shall last for ever and ever...
~“How Abu Hasan Brake Wind," A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, Now Entitled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, by Richard F. Burton, 1885

I have not seen Dr. Coste’s oration in return for the degree conferred on him by our university. But I am informed, that he rallies the mode of rearing children, our diet, and in short the whole system of our education with great acrimony:  Among other examples of the ill effect of our diet, I am told that he says, that it causes "ventrum prorumpere." ~Edmund Randolph, letter to James Madison, 1782  [abdominal flatulence —tg]

It having been a very cold night last night I had got some cold, and so in pain by wind, and a sure precursor of pain is sudden letting off farts, and when that stops, then my passages stop and my pain begins. ~Samuel Pepys, diary, 1664

Radish roots have the virtue to extenuate, or make thin, and also to warm. Also they cause to break wind and piss:  being eaten afore meals, they let the meat, that it may not descend, but being eaten last, they make good digestion... ~Thomas Elyot, The Castel of Helth, 1534

FARTLEBERRIES:  excrement hanging to the hairs about the anus, &c. of a man or woman. ~Francis Grose, ed., A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1785

FARTING CRACKERS:  breeches. ~Francis Grose, ed., A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1785

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published 2003 Mar 18
revised 2004, 2012, 2019, 2020
last saved 2024 Apr 21