Get our exclusive Word of the Day images!
Old English stol "seat for one person," from Proto-Germanic *stolaz (cf. Old Frisian stol, Old Norse stoll, Old High German stuol, German Stuhl "seat," Gothic stols "high seat, throne"), from PIE *sta-lo-, locative of root *sta- "to stand" (cf. Lithuanian pa-stolas "stand," Old Church Slavonic stolu "stool;" see stet).
Originally used of thrones (cf. cynestol "royal seat, throne"); change of meaning began with adoption of chair from French, which relegated stool to small seats without arms or backs, then "privy" (early 15c.) and thence to "bowel movement" (1530s).
A discharging of the bowels.
Evacuated fecal matter.
(also stoolie) A police informer; stool pigeon: He's nothing but a cop's stool (Underworld 1906+, variant 1924+)verb
: to make me stool on a friend (1911+)
[back formation fr stool pigeon]