Posted by ESC on March 28, 2007
In Reply to: Re: Backdoor trots posted by RRC on March 28, 2007
: : : Hi, a friend of mine has just used the saying : 'backdoor trots'. I undertsand what it means but where did the saying come from?
: : Outhouses or privies are located outside in back of the house, usually.
: etymonline says "the trots" for diarrhea is recorded as far back as 1808. It is a play on "the runs". Backdoor (whether this refers to outsides or backsides) adds emphasis (and makes it clear you're not talking about horses running).
Outsides. As evidenced by the variations: backdoor quicksteps, backhouse trots, backyard trots. From "Dictionary of American Regional English," Volume 1 by Frederic G. Cassidy (1985, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London, England). Page 119.