Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plug that forms in the anus of a bear during hibernation, possibly to prevent the entry of ants into the sleeping bear's rectum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An obstruction, or indigestible mass, found in the intestine of bears and other animals during hibernation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A substance found in the intestine of the bear during hibernation, probably feces modified by long retention.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • a substance called 'tappen' that clogs it and the intestines; this is formed of pine leaves and other material that the animal takes from ants 'nest and the trunks of trees in its search after honey.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 324, March 18, 1882

  • Labels: Reverse Fad Productions, tappen, upside-down posted by John McGrath @ 10: 22 PM

    uʍop ǝpısdn

  • Labels: Reverse Fad Productions, tappen, upside-down posted by John McGrath @ 10: 22 PM 0 Comments

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • Old Bruin knew perfectly well that this matter, composed of pine leaves and other substances, was absolutely essential to him for the winter, for this is what makes the "_tappen_."

    Rataplan, a rogue elephant; and other stories

  • The bear seems to live on its fat, the tappen preventing its too rapid consumption; and if you run across them during this time -- even along in March just before they wake up -- they are about as fat as when they went in.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 324, March 18, 1882

  • Then, tappen me on the shoulder, and lookin up and smilin, as he always did when he was pleased with an idee, Sir Samuel Slick would not sound bad, I guess, would it Sam?

    The Clockmaker — or, the Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick, of Slickville

  • American girl, who is hardly suited to move in the circles in which his wife must live -- I do believe Mr. Bulstrode prefers me, just now, to any other female he may tappen to know; but his attachment, if it deserve the name, has not the heart in it, dear Corny, that I know is to be found in your's.

    Satanstoe

  • You are a fcuking tappen .... no im sorry that just doesn't work, you will have to just remain a c

    Army Rumour Service

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.

  • Good! I feel at home here. (Home is where my words are?)

    Netto is net (as opposed to gross) and snus is... snus. So they're saying that they sell cheap snus. I'd rather have some fufluns.

    September 26, 2012

  • Also, what are Nettosnus? Are they anything like fufluns?

    September 26, 2012

  • You're definitely one of us now.

    September 26, 2012

  • Passing this yesterday, I realized that I needed to share this with... well, someone, and Wordnik might be the right place for it. I've always thought this sign was a bit disturbing, even before I knew the word tappen in English. ("Godis" means candy, and "tappen" means the gas station (in Swedish)).

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    September 25, 2012

  • Apparently there's a place in the Hudson Valley called Tappen Hill. Sounds nice--wedding receptions, gala events, etc.

    May 14, 2012

  • Still one of my favorite sentences of all time:

    The tappen is not produced to stop small animals going up the bear's backside, but its presence helps to prevent it.

    November 8, 2008

  • Ah, I get it now, Shevek.

    The reference, not the tappen.

    July 23, 2008

  • *boom*
    Signed,
    Bear who drove across the Tappan Zee Bridge twice in the last three days, without seeing a single tappen.

    July 21, 2008

  • Unless I misunderstood, she was referring to a distinct usage. I.e. tappen in Modern English refers to bears, but in Middle English, it refers to kinky sex (‽).

    July 21, 2008

  • She, have you forgotten that you started all this madness? *ducks under fallen log*

    July 21, 2008

  • Tappen is Middle English for bunghole-plug! Imagine.

    July 17, 2008

  • *hits the deck*

    Bugger me. I preferred Big Bang when it was just a theory.

    July 16, 2008

  • *boom*

    July 16, 2008

  • I know. I'm bad. Marsupial, insectivore bad.

    July 12, 2008

  • Bilby, I warned you about yanking her chain seven months ago!

    July 12, 2008

  • In this case it's an abumination.

    July 12, 2008

  • Yanking my chain is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. Leather-ears.

    *boom* -- Look out!

    July 12, 2008

  • For a few hours :->

    July 12, 2008

  • I'm sorry chained_bear. I've been yanking your chain. I'm sure it won't happen again.

    July 12, 2008

  • Warning: Do not feed or tease the bear! Especially if it's trying to eject its tappen.

    July 12, 2008

  • How many months is it till springtime?
    *boom*

    July 12, 2008

  • What'd you say, leather-ears?

    July 12, 2008

  • Don't blame me, blunderbutt.

    July 12, 2008

  • *holding sign, looking accusingly at bilby*

    July 12, 2008

  • r_t: Probably because we are distracted by all the exploding maple trees in the forest.

    July 11, 2008

  • Nowhere did we specify the bears were wearing teacup-hats!!

    July 11, 2008

  • Hey! Who put this sign on my ass?! "Caution: Emits Showers of Sparks"?!

    July 11, 2008

  • And if it does burst out like a firework and go whooshing through the forest, why don't we see bears flying around in the springtime, arse over teacup?

    July 11, 2008

  • Typing that sort of felt like I was being translated in gibberish against my will.

    July 11, 2008

  • Tappens happen. (Tappen happens?)

    July 11, 2008

  • Happen to make?

    July 11, 2008

  • Prolagus: the great divinator of the lexisphere.

    July 11, 2008

  • You know, all this was prophesied by the great sage Prolagus on the day we, er, enhanced brookdale_chick's list. See dingleberry delightful ejection.

    July 11, 2008

  • Come to think of it, our tappen is onomatopoeic—it is the sound they'd happen to make if you stood, say, at the base of the wrong mountain, and they all rained down on your uniquely unfortunate head.

    July 11, 2008

  • Bilby: I wouldn't stand behind me to find out.

    July 11, 2008

  • And now tappen's on top! Er... it sounded better in my head.

    July 11, 2008

  • I'm wondering about the 'passing of the tappen'. Does it disintegrate slowly? Or burst out like a firework and go whooshing through the forest?

    July 11, 2008

  • Wasn't Tappen or Tappan a line of appliances? I don't think I'll purchase one now.

    July 11, 2008

  • I have new empathy for bears! Thanks, posting a word on the internet.

    Also, it's amazing how many people Google can find proudly proclaiming his or her last name to be Tappen.

    July 11, 2008

  • *not looking forward to spring*

    July 11, 2008

  • Is it just me, or does the tappen, as a word, sound a lot like another word we all know that, um, controls, um, stuff from coming out..?

    Oh, and *hork*

    July 11, 2008

  • A tappen sounds like a beautifully ingenious adaptation that makes it possible for bears to hibernate peacefully without awakening every few hours to go out & take a dump.
    Let's celebrate the beauty & ingenuity of nature, the wonder that these tappens are! Let's thank mother nature for her gift to bears everywhere, a solid, functional tappen.

    July 11, 2008

  • *staring*

    July 11, 2008

  • "They make it difficult for the animal to defecate during hibernation, but are often passed with great pain in the spring time."
    - Wikipedia.

    July 11, 2008

  • *staring*

    July 11, 2008

  • How do you think I feel about this?! I just found out very publicly and specifically what has been up my butt all winter! Don't you think I might want to hork?! *not happy*

    Edit: Just remembered I know someone with this surname. Puzzled because first name is "Sunny."

    July 10, 2008

  • With good reason, I'd say. :-)

    July 10, 2008

  • You're doing a lot of that lately, dc.

    July 10, 2008

  • *horking*

    July 10, 2008

  • Thanks bilby, I was thinking along those same lines.... Gah!

    July 10, 2008

  • Specific excrement it is. Couldn't get much more specific without naming it. (Or maybe rating it? But I can't bring myself to post the link; Google it if you must.)

    July 10, 2008

  • Well, the experts said 'prevents faecal material leaking out of the bear's body'. Which doesn't sound like excrement at all, except for the fact that the tappen itself must eventually be passed. Given that they also noted that 'the tappen forms inside the body', and eventually ends up on the outside, I'd be willing - no, thrilled - to consider it as excrement. And highly specific.

    July 10, 2008

  • Contemplating your first tappen, I suppose you'd have to consider: to retch or to dretch?

    July 10, 2008

  • You'll get no debate from me, healthy or otherwise. I try to stay out of other people's excrement.

    July 10, 2008

  • *really skeeved out that people are thinking about her rectum*

    On another note... would this belong, do you think, on the Specific Excrement list? I'm putting it there anyway, but anticipating a healthy debate.

    July 10, 2008

  • Hey c'mon. Tappen happens.

    July 10, 2008

  • We could all chip in and buy her a clyster.

    July 10, 2008

  • AAAAGH!!

    July 10, 2008

  • If I get invited for cocktails and tapenades and chained_bear's place, I'm not going.

    July 10, 2008

  • Stop talking about my tailpipe!

    July 10, 2008

  • Good grief. Now we've gone and mortified chained_bear's tailpipe.

    July 10, 2008

  • On the internet, no-one knows what you have up your backside.

    July 9, 2008

  • AAAAAAGH!!! AAAAAAAGH!!!

    July 9, 2008

  • chained_bear, I'm sure it's voluntary!

    allexperts.com clarifies: "The tappen forms inside the body and plugs the anus during hibernation. A bear does not place moss up its backside, nor does it place a rock there, which was one of my earlier questions. The tappen prevents faecal material leaking out of the bear's body and soiling its home during hibernation. Apart from hygiene, the smell of faeces could attract enemies during a vulnerable period for the bear. The tappen is not produced to stop small animals going up the bear's backside, but its presence helps to prevent it. Whether ants would naturally want to go up a bear's backside is another question!"

    July 9, 2008

  • *adds to list of Things I Didn't Need to Know*

    July 9, 2008

  • I think I'll take the George, thanks.

    July 8, 2008

  • I always wondered what the Tappan Zee Bridge was named after.

    July 8, 2008

  • Isn't there another word for this?

    July 8, 2008

  • ... Excuse me?! ...

    July 8, 2008

  • The plug by which the rectum of a bear is closed during hibernation, composed of pine leaves and things scratched out from ants' nests.

    July 8, 2008