borborygmo-, borborygm-

(Greek > Latin: intestinal rumblings, tummy rumbling; gurgling and splashing)

borborology (bohr" buh RUHL uh jee) (s) (noun), borborologies (pl)
1. A study of the noises made in the stomach and intestines during the digestion of food: Karen's physician was using a form of borborology with a stethoscope to diagnose the extent of her abdominal discomfort.
2. Originally, a gross language; foul or filthy talk; possibly from Greek borboros, "filth" + -logia, "speak, talk", but it can not be verified by any authorized source.
borborygamiphobia (s) (noun), borborygamiphobias (pl)
A dread that other people will hear the rumbling, gurgling, etc. in his or her stomach or intestines that are produced by gas in the alimentary canal and which are audible at a distance: Some individuals who have borborygamiphobia are so afraid that others will hear these sounds that they become social phobics and avoid public gatherings or even being around others, especially after eating.

borborygmic (bohr" boh RIG mik) (adjective), more borborygmic, most borborygmic
1. Characterized by stomach rumblings or growlings in the bowels or intestines: Elephant hunters say that they can tell the proximity of a herd by the borborygmic noises that they emit.
2. Pertaining to the audible bowel sounds that are a normal part of the digestive process: The borborygmic noise which can be heard is caused by the movements of air and fluid through the intestines.

When anyone has a borborygmic disorder of his or her intestines; a physician can usually listen to the bowel sounds as an aid in diagnosing the ailment.

3. There are other references to the reverberation noises that one can hear: Jim thought the room in the hotel was very quiet, except for the old borborygmic radiator that was rumbling until it was turned off.

borborygmite (bohr" boh RIG might) (s) (noun), borborygmites (pl)
A person who speaks with vulgar, indecent, or obscene language: Mack was scolded by his mother for being a borborygmite after she heard him using some of the unacceptable language used by the workers who were painting their house.
borborygmus (bohr" boh RIG muhs; bohr" buh RIG muhs) (s), (noun); borborygmi (bohr" boh RIG mi, bohr" boh RIG migh) (pl)
1. Rumblings or gurgling noises produced by the movements of gas in the tube or passage through which food passes and that can be heard from a distance: Whenever people hear borborygmi, then they are aware of the bowel sounds, the gurgling, rumbling, or growling noises from the abdomen caused by the muscular contractions of peristalsis, the process that moves the contents of the stomach and the intestines downward.

Peristalsis is the rippling motion of muscles in the digestive tract. In the stomach, this motion mixes food with gastric juices, turning it into a thin liquid.

Bowel sounds are normal. In fact, their absence might indicate intestinal obstruction or constipation.

Some borborygmi, or intestinal sounds, are often present in cases of gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines) and diarrhea (increased fluidity, frequency, or volume of bowel movements).

Most of the time, the growl of the borborygmi is gas moving in the digestive system, usually in the intestines rather than the stomach.

When borborygmi, or gurgulations,

Interrupt my conversations,

I simply shrug and say, "It's true–

My belly has an opinion too."

—Willy Brakewynde
From There's A Word For It!
C.H. Elster, page 210.
2. Etymology: borborygmus has been rumbling around in the English language for more than 200 years. Its earliest known use in English dates back to 1796. The word arrived from New Latin, but it traces its origin back to the Greek borborygmos; from the verb borboryzein, "to rumble".

—This entry is primarily compiled from information located in:

1. The American Medical Association Home Medical Encyclopedia;
Volume One; Medical Editor, Charles B. Clayman, MD;
Random House; New York; 1989; page 195.
2. ABC's of the Human Body; The Reader's Digest Association, Inc;
Pleasantville, New York; 1987; page 233.