This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sunday Rest: eructate. Word Not To Use Today.

Yes, you've been eating too much and your stomach contents are stirring uneasily inside you.

But things could be much, much worse.

If you were a cow living in a field then you'd be emitting 600 litres of methane gas per day, 95% of this gas through burping. (The other five per cent is breathed out.)

All this methane is thought to add to global warming, and if you're a cow you can now get an anti-methanogen vaccine to minimize the methane content of your burps.

The other way to stop cattle burping so much is to feed them stuff they can digest properly, like alfalfa, which is more like the grass that they would have eaten if they'd been wild.

And, let's face it: what's worse than burping?

Well, if you're a cow, not burping. That can be fatal, apparently, especially after a rich dinner.

This is why people hardly ever invite cows round for lunch.

Word Not To Use Today: eructate. Look, you don't need this horrible word. I mean, it even sounds painful. The word came from the Latin ructāre, to burp.

I'm afraid eructate is sometimes used of volcanoes, too.


  1. I never thought about it before, but it really does sound painful!
    Whereas a burp sounds much more milder.

    I'd heard about cows and their methane emissions, but never about the vaccine! I think the better solution would be giving them more digestible foodstuff, as you mentioned Sally.
    Can cows go on strike? :)

    1. There are systems where cows can wander into the milking shed and hook themselves up to the milking machine whenever they like - which turns out to be more often than when it's all arranged by the farmers. so my guess is that cows are too kind and helpful to go on strike.
      Bullocks, though, I can easily imagine starting a Trades Union.

  2. The Spanish for 'to burp' is 'eructar' and 'a burp' is 'un eructo'.

    Just saying.

    1. Our lives are all the richer for the knowledge, Eddie. Thank you!