Did Saint Augustine of Hippo say that "inter urinas et faeces nascimur" (we are born between urine and feces).

As I understand this fragment implied the inferiority of female sexuality as something dirty and imperfect.

What is the meaning of this phrase? Do you agree that behind of this words obscured a little bit of misogyny?

  • 2
    Why do you think it implies anything inferior about women? It seems to be saying something about the humble origins of both men and women.
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 4, 2020 at 7:58
  • If a man finds it objectionable where babies come from, then I suppose he will also find it objectionable how babies are conceived and I assume he will be a celibate man. What a revolting way to talk about one's own mother.One is to honour one's father and one's mother and not have such a mean and nasty view of how one came into this world. Shame on any man who talks like this, no matter how he is venerated by history. I do hope it is not Augustine of Hippo.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 4, 2020 at 8:10
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    @NigelJ No worries. It is not!
    – Ken Graham
    Apr 4, 2020 at 14:35
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    @Nigel J St. Paul was celibate, and advocated celibacy as higher than marriage. Yet he didn't say anything like this. Apr 4, 2020 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


This quote is often attributed to one of the early church fathers, usually to Bernard of Clairvaux or Saint Augustine, although the earliest reference in print was in 1896. There is no historical evidence that links the quote to Clairvaux or Augustine. It is part of a textbook on human anatomy by Joseph Hyrtl

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