phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Party pooper

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 01, 2005

In Reply to: Party pooper posted by Jamie on October 30, 2005

: Anyone know the origin of the phrase "party pooper"? A friend of mine wants to go as a party pooper for Halloween (she enjoys customes with plays on words and that is the one she picked out)... Not sure what she will do but it will probably be clever or funny.

: Anyway, she asked me if I knew the origins of the phrase and whether it came from a literal event or anything. Apparently she is curious and it might even make a conversation thing for her.

OED: "party pooper, a person who spoils the social enjoyment of others, typically by being gloomy; a killjoy. party-pooping n. and a., (a) n., the practice or an instance of spoiling the social enjoyment of others.; (b) adj., that spoils the plans or social enjoyment of others."

Poop has several meanings, of which two could be relevant. Since about 1900, poop has meant (in child-speak) either feces, or, as a verb, to defecate. Since the 1930s, as "pooped" (or often, pooped out) it has meant, as a past participle/adjective, tired out, exhausted, worn out. To poop out is to become too exhausted to continue, or to give up, usually owing to exhaustion, but sometimes just to drop out or fail to continue for unspecified reasons..

I know what your friend could do to be clever and funny, but it might be difficult and hard to forget. SS