|I have no idea, but it seemed appropriate|
(photo by Douglas Muth)
Noun. Late Middle English.
[Old & modern French, or late Latin constipatio(n-) crowding together, (in medieval Latin) costiveness.]
1(a) obsolete. Contraction or constriction of passages or tissues of the body. LME-M17
1(b) Irregularity and difficulty in defecation. M16
1(c) figurative. Abnormal lack of efficacy or ease. E19
2 obsolete. Compression or condensation of matter. L19
The ultimate Latin root of constipare carries the sense of 'press, cram', and this could be applied in many different ways. The Spanish, for example, use it to mean 'to have a cold' (think 'congested'), which gives rise to oh so many delightful misunderstandings when a Spaniard declares: "¡Estoy tan constipado!" It goes the other way too, of course, and it's worth remembering the difference when holidaying in Spain. Go into a pharmacy complaining of that you're constipated and you're likely to be given a nasal spray, which would be interesting to say the least ...
Do please crowd around and leave your most compacted comments in the box below.