Grit Blogs > Close the Gate

Sqat

A photo of Nancy KraayenhofLiving and growing up in the city for more than three decades, moving to the country took some adjusting. One of the things that I had to get used to was the variety of smells.

We have a few head of cattle in a yard about a hundred yards from the back door of the house and when the wind is just right (or wrong) ... Well, you know what I mean.

My spouse, Doug, forever the farmer, has been known to step out the back door, inhale deeply and comment, “Smells like money!” I am sitting here telling you that money does not smell like that where I come from. It seems, however, that my senses have adjusted, and lately I hardly notice an ill breeze.

Manure. That is the word used in the agricultural community. I do not dispute its existence (who could?) or its usefulness as fertilizer. God, in His infinite wisdom, certainly thought of everything. What I object to is the word itself.

Manure. Been there, dung that. We have used the stuffing out of that word, and I propose a change. I am starting my campaign here but plan to take it on the road.

I predict that one day my idea will catch on and the utterance of “manure” will be a thing of the past. It will join words and phrases like horse haimes, singletree, shocking grain, wire check planting and milking stool. Obsolete.

Once I decided that a new term was needed, my task then became the search for the perfect word. I searched high and low (considering the topic, it was mostly low) and finally found what I was looking for on the Public Broadcasting Station.

One day my little daycare chickadees and I were watching the travels of “Buster Bunny” on PBS. Buster wanted to see a wild moose on his trip to Canada. Some local children were helping him track when they came upon some moose droppings. They referred it as “scat.”

Scat is a term long used to describe animal droppings by trackers and I would like to suggest the agriculture society adopt the term, with a twist. Let's replace the C with a Q to make it agriculturally uniQue, if you get my drift.

Sqat! What a perfect word! Short and eloquent, yet distinct and unusual. It rolls off the tongue like water off a duck’s back.

Sqat. A word that could only be confused with trackers’ scat or telling a cat to go away unless you see it in writing.

My husband, Doug, besides doing a little farming on the side for the sheer joy of it, used to be a territory manager for a company that sells ag equipment. One of the products he represented for his dealers was a brand of spreaders. Doug was a serious agent of his goods, and he certainly knew his sqat. When it comes to sqat throwers, my husband is a natural.

Sqat spreaders come with different brand names: Slinger, Scavenger, Pro Push, Hydro Push, Hydro Spread, Honey Wagon, etc. During my research I discovered there are also many slang names that are not suitable for print.

I predict, once the word “sqat” catches on, it won’t be long before one sees the name “Sqatter” or, even better “Sqatterer” on the side of a massive distribution machine.

I close the gate on the word “manure.”
“Sqat” is much better; you’ll agree I’m sure.
I’ll need your help and now that you’ve heard,
Get off your computer and go spread the word!