One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The dark green substance forming the first feces of a newborn infant.
- ‘Infants who pass thin meconium, which is yellow to light green and watery, are more likely to be healthy at birth.’
- ‘The question as to why some infants may discharge meconium in times of stress and other infants do not has not been well studied.’
- ‘Urine samples were collected from the women and meconium samples were collected from each baby.’
- ‘A common presentation is failure to pass meconium in the first 24 hours coupled with a gradual onset of abdominal distension and vomiting.’
- ‘In 95 percent of newborns, meconium is passed by 24 hours of age.’
Early 18th century: from Latin, literally ‘poppy juice’, from Greek mēkōnion, from mēkōn ‘poppy’.
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