Thursday, July 10, 2008

P.U. or is it Pyew or is it Pee-You?

Anyway you spell it, it means stinky! Why the weird blog post title? Well, do you remember how back in school after trekking five miles across campus on a cool 95 degree day with 85% humidity you got all nice and sweaty? And so did everyone else?

I specifically remember sitting behind this guy in trigonometry class whom always emitted a yucky odor. Unfortunately, we had assigned seats in that class, so I was privy to the unpleasant olfactory treat every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He was a heavy fella, and I learned to associate the smell as "fat people smell". I can say that because I am fat, so no getting defensive here, okay? I remember counting the rolls on the back of his neck one day during lecture...I think I counted four or five. He was always sweaty and panting. I felt sorry for him because I assumed that he didn't have access to a daily shower or proper hygiene.

I have consistently been concerned with my own body odor. I shower daily, use LOTS of deodorant and make sure I scrub every inch of my body well. It has been a fear of mine for years that I would one day smell like the trig guy.

I had to run to the grocery store today and while I was putting my baby back into his seat, it happened. I caught a whiff of "that smell"! Freaking out for a second, I quickly checked my son in hopes that he had a dirty diaper...nope. Had I gotten something rotten or soured on my clothes? Nope, my shirt was dry. Oh dear God, where could that smell be coming from? While looking down in desperation to find the stinky source, I found it. It was me. Yup. Me. Apparently my nice sweaty chest was the culprit. Ewwwwwwww. Wie. Nice, huh?

This has put even more fuel in my fire. I went for a bike ride tonight thinking about how I DO NOT want to be that "poor stinky fat woman". Gees Louise, this is blatant madness.

So where in the heck did the expression PU come from? This is what I found:
1) It's a shortened term for puteo, which is Latin for 'to stink, be redolent, or smell bad.' I actually called a professor of Latin at the University of Florida to verify this one.

2) It's actually spelled "piu," but is often pronounced as "pee-yew". It's root is the Indo-European word "pu," meaning to rot or decay. A lot of other languages use this root word and have the same general meaning."

There, now you know.


Anonymous said...

You poor thing! ;)

I can't believe you researched where PU came from! =) That is hysterial. Thanks for sharing!

norweginwood said...

Thank you for this intelligent conclusion to a question that has nagged me for quite some time. I often want to write 'piu' in short informal essays and always have just improvised. Thank you!

Juicy J said...

you looked better fatter.

skinny girls can't work it.

Skylar Davis said...

What did the pun say about its rear end? Pee-You, n!

moses johnson said...

Regarding the word PHEW:
In my grandmothers era (early 1900's), PHEW meant, "something stinks!"
The next generation lengthened the pronunciation to

PHEW is the correct spelling.

MiTmite999 said...

"Phew" is more commonly used as an expression of relief than to denote a bad odor.

To the blogger: Congrats on taking off weight. Must tell you that your use of "whom" is not correct, however. In the context, it should be "who." Best of luck with getting slimmer. You are an inspiration.

MiTmite999 said...

Can't seem to edit my comment. I wanted to add that body odor has a lot to do with not only genetics but also with food ingested.

Blogger. You are doing yourself a great disservice by being so crazy for soap and hygiene. I hope you are trying to keep from passing on this obsession to your children. Too much soap and shampoo is bad for your skin and hair. Using anti-bacterial chemicals in soaps is bad for you. Those chemicals kill the good bacteria along with the bad.

Try eating less meat. If you're an onion and garlic fan (like me), you may want to cut back on those foods, too.

I NEVER use underarm deodorant. A "French" bath (a little soap and water and towel off) for underarms is a nice way to freshen up, occasionally.

Some people just have more noticeable odor. If you must use deodorant, try to use more organic products----something that isn't loaded with bad, injurious chemicals. Keep in mind that whatever you put on your skin goes straight into your system.

Allen Smalling said...

I'm glad you researched "PU" (Or P.U., pyew, etc.). We got into the term just today at Goodreads: March 10, 2018. So thanks to yew! ALLEN, Chicago, IL.