Flagellants vs flatulence

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Flagellants and flatulence are two words that are very close in pronunciation and are often confused. We will examine the definitions of the words flagellants and flatulence, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Flagellants is the plural form of flagellant, which is someone who flogs himself as an expression of religious fervor. Various religious cults have practiced flagellation in the past, such as the cult dedicated to Isis and the cult dedicated to Dionysius. In the Dark Ages, many Christian nuns, monks and others were flagellants, whipping themselves with small whips. At first, the church tolerated the practices of flagellants, but by the mid-1300s the pope condemned the practice and forbade it. Today, there are still a few cults around the word that practice flagellation, mostly Christian cults. The word flagellants was derived from the Latin word flagellantem, which means to whip or to lash. Related words are the verbs flagellate, flagellated, flagellating and the nouns flagellation and flagellator.

Flatulence is the accumulation of gas in the intestines, usually only remarked upon when expelled from the body. Flatulence is also used figuratively to mean pompous speech. The adjective form is flatulent. The word flatulence is derived from the Latin word flatus, which means breaking wind.


Thousands of penitents, called “magdarame” or flagellants, roamed the streets on Good Friday, carrying wooden crosses and whipping their backs with bamboo lashes called “burilyos.” (The Philippine Star)

As the flagellants made an excruciatingly slow barefoot march to the hill in San Juan, a rural district of San Fernando north of Manila where the crucifixions were to take place, some of them stopped at times to lay face down on the hot pavement and let children flog them with twigs. (The Telegraph)

Talking to Studio 10 on Tuesday, the 23-year-old explained that she was affected by flatulence thanks to her stint in Samoa’s wilderness. (The Daily Mail)

But rather than sending Fido to the dog house, a new service hopes to help fraught owners who have to endure their pet’s chronic flatulence on a regular basis. (The Evening Standard)