Saturday, December 5, 2009

On The Topic Of Toilets

On thing I'm really struggling with at the moment is that the Nepali word for 'urine' is 'pisab' and the verb 'to urinate' is 'pisab garnu' (lit. to make urine).

'Pisab' is sufficiently innocuous to pop up in every day conversation, and when we were on the bus the equivalent to the driver shouting 'toilet break!' is to shout 'pisab garne!' I find it very difficult to use this word, as it's too similar to the much more taboo 'piss,' and I can't keep a straight face when anyone else uses it.

Unfortunately, I don't know if the Nepali word 'pisab' and the English word 'piss' are etymologically related. English and Nepali are both in the massive Indo-European language family, although at opposite ends of it, so the words could possibly be congate (ie from the same origin), but just as likely they could not. There is a big, beautiful Nepali Etymological Dictionary I could check, but I'm not allowed to buy it because I have too many books already.


  1. Not of much help, but here it is anyway:

  2. What a pity the English Etymology only goes back about 500 years!