Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Debris or excrement produced by insects.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The droppings or excrement of insects.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The excrement of a larval insect.

Etymologies

German, feed, result of eating, insect damage, from Middle High German vrâz, from Old High German frāz, from frezzan, to eat; see ed- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old High German fraz, from Old High German frezzan (German fressen), to eat. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Yes, caterpillar shit is called frass, and yes, it's derived from fressen.

    languagehat.com: Q.PHEEVR ON 'BUTTERFLY.'

  • (or more specifically called frass) coming out of them.

    Apartment Therapy Main

  • Over here, we are celebrating what chewed leaves, in this particular case, chewed tomato leaves, turn into: frass, that is, insect shit.

    SNAIL'S TALES

  • As one of the elite group of people who know the meaning of 'frass', my husband just about died laughing at the scene in the movieSideways where our two heros drive into the all-smoke-no-fire vineyard 'Frass Canyon'.

    languagehat.com: Q.PHEEVR ON 'BUTTERFLY.'

  • But in those two classes, no one ever mentioned the word "frass".

    May Dreams Gardens

  • I've been looking for opportunities all week to use "frass" in a sentence …

    May Dreams Gardens

  • First of all, you should know that "frass" is the technical (and very nice, I think) word for "insect pooh."

    Museum Blogs

  • While we're on the bedroom theme, consider: If your pillow is six years old (the average age of a pillow, according to Mr. Bryson) "one-tenth of its weight will be made up of sloughed skin, living and dead mites, and mite dung — or frass, as it is known to entomologists."

    Brass Beds and Broomsticks

  • Simcox only knew they were there by the frass – black pellets of caterpillar poo – that falls from the thyme.

    Butterflies: out of the blue

  • You could only wear what was given to you and that was nothing but nails and frass

    The Couple, Back and Forth

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • But look on the bright side, jenn--fungi can be fun!

    November 4, 2008

  • No frass this year. I've been demoted to mold.

    November 4, 2008

  • Then again, weevil-frass is rather fun to say.

    Weevil-frass. Weevil-frass. Weevil-frass.

    March 14, 2008

  • How cool is that, when your specific excrement interest and your O' Brian interest intersect!!

    But really, weevil-frass in the biscuit-jar?? EEWW!

    March 14, 2008

  • I actually came across this word while reading: "Stephen took a piece of biscuit, tapping it mechanically, brushed away the weevil-frass, and said..."
    (O'Brian, The Wine-Dark Sea, 90)

    March 14, 2008

  • Oh, now come on. That's complete frass.
    (note: not really)

    October 4, 2007

  • I first heard this word used when an exterminator was scouting out my carpenter ant infestation. I got the impression that it also includes sundry debris like bits of nesting material.

    October 4, 2007

  • Glad to hear it! Man, you have a good memory. I'd have forgotten all about it by now.

    October 3, 2007

  • Alas, the insect unit is actually in October, but I *will* be using this word tomorrow. :)

    October 3, 2007

  • See? Precisely! *triumphant*

    April 28, 2007

  • Ooo! I will use this when I teach my cricket unit in September. *That* is why it needs a name.

    April 28, 2007

  • Yes, but let's be fair--it does *sound* better than "insect poop."

    February 23, 2007

  • EEW. Why does insect poop need a word?!

    February 23, 2007

  • insect poop

    February 23, 2007