Green’s Dictionary of Slang

arse n.

[note also US spelling ass n. (although this appears increasingly in UK in late 1990s+) is often interchangeable. In combs., both spellings have been included at the same headword, unless usage is nation-specific, where the relevant sp. has been used. The two spellings are synon. but it should be noted that Shakespeare opts for ass, often in a punning context, on several occasions. Arse was SE at coinage, but it moved gradually into sl. Its sources include a variety of words found in several Teutonic and Scandinavian languages. The nearest relation is the German arsch, and there are definite links back to the Greek orros and orsos. In English it dates at least to 1000, when it is spelt ars, ears or ars. The modern sp. appears c.1300. Once rendered taboo, arse was to be resisted in polite conversation and printed only after the exclusion of crucial consonants, typically by Grose, who prefers a–e to the full-blown word. It remained off-limits, at least in print, until 1930, when Frederic Manning used it in full in his memoir of World War I, Her Privates We (itself a slightly bawdy pun). Since then the word has become relatively acceptable, and such phrs. as arse about under arse v. or not know one’s arse/ass from one’s elbow , while not yet SE, are as much colloq. as sl. That said, arse/ass, remains one of those ‘filthy words’ cited in 1978 by the US Federal Communications Commission as indecent, if not actually obscene]

1. the buttocks.

[[UK]Ælfric Gloss. in Wright Vol. of Vocabularies (1857) 44/2: Nates, ears-lyre].
[UK]Langland Piers Ploughman (1550) V Fiii line 175: I am chaleged and chyde in chapter house, as I chyld were And balased on the bare arse.
[UK]Chaucer Romaunt of the Rose (1532) line 7575: Afterwarde in prison lye [...] For thou shalte for this synne dwelle Right in the dyuels arse of helle.
[UK]Chaucer Miller’s Tale line 604: And at the wyndow out she putte hir hole, And Absolon, hym fil no bet ne wers, But with his mouth he kiste hir naked ers.
[UK]Bartholemaeus Anglicus De Proptietatibus Rerum Trevisa (trans.) in Batman (1582) Bk 7 Ch. 54 109: Emoroides be fiue veynes, whyche stretche out at the arse.
[UK]Mankind line 338: newgyse nowadays. he that schtyth wyth hys hoyll cetera nought. But he wyppe hys ars clen cetera.
[UK]W. Caxton Chronicles of England ccxxvi 233: They lete hang fox tailles... to hele and hyde her arses [F&H].
[UK]Hickscorner Cv: Yet had I neuer be by the nose tyde In a wenches ars somewhere Rather than I wolde stande in that gret fere For to go up to heuen naye I praye you lette be.
[UK]J. Rastell The Four Elements line 1165: I servyd another wors: I smot of his legge by the hard ars.
[UK]J. Heywood Witty and Witless in Farmer Dramatic Writings (1905) 194: Some tug him by the arse, / Some lug him by the ears.
[UK]Palsgrave Lesclarcissement de la Langue Francoyse n.p.: Verbes: Frygge in the arse as a queene dothe whan she is in tapynge.
[UK]J. Heywood Play of Weather in Farmer Dramatic Writings (1905) 122: I would ye had kissed mine arse too!
[UK]J. Heywood Proverbs II Ch. vii: Claw a churle by th’ars, and he shiteth in my hand. [Ibid.] Ch. viii: Suche drifres drave hem from ill to wars and wars, / Tyll he was as bare as a birds ars.
[UK]Treatise of Galaunt n.p.: With long taters downe to the ars behynde [F&H].
[UK]E. More Schole house of Women B: Euery nyght he ryseth for to pysse And whan he commeth, agayne unwarme Doth turne his ars into my harme.
[UK]‘Mr. S’ Gammer Gurton’s Needle in Whitworth (1997) I ii: As though there had been in her arse a swarm of bees.
[UK] ‘One Catholic Song’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I n.p.: To be al hail vith baith in a place, / Hir with hir cunt, him with his erss, / An I betwix with ane stif terss.
[UK]Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet II i: Oh Romeo! that she were, oh, that she were an open arse, thou a poperin pear.
[UK]Dekker & Webster Northward Hoe II i: As if the diuill were in their arses.
[UK]Jonson Bartholomew Fair V v : You must kiss her o’ the arse, she says.
[UK]G. Peele Merrie Conceited Jests 30: Mistress, quoth George; That if it were not for printing and painting, my arse and your face would grow out of reparations.
[UK]J. Taylor Crabtree Lectures 111: Let it worke, and worke againe, like Ginger in a Sowes Arse.
[UK] ‘The First Beginning’ Sportive Wit in Wardroper (1969) 221: My sister went to market / To buy her a taffety hat. / Before she came there her arse lay bare. / Lay you your lips to that.
[UK] ‘The Re-resurrection of the Rump’ Rump Poems and Songs (1662) II 2: But now thou hast got a prodigious Arse.
[UK] Rochester ‘Satyr on Charles II’ in Works (1999) 87: For though in her he settled well his Tarse / Yet his dull graceless Ballocks hang an Arse.
[UK]‘L.B.’ New Academy of Complements 103: Take a pound of butter made in May, / Clap it to her Arse in a Summers day, / And ever as it melts, then lick it clean away; / ’Tis a Med’cine for the Tooth-ach, old wives say.
[UK] ‘Ballad on Betty Fulton’ in Wilson Court Satires of the Restoration (1976) 48: She’s always attended with ballocks and tarse, / Sweet Candish in cunt and bold Frank at her arse.
[UK]Rochester (attrib.) Sodom III i: Arse of all kinds I follow by the scent — / My Prick allows no spous but fundament.
[UK]N. Ward London Spy I 19: Their Drolls and their Farces, / Are bald as our Arses.
[UK] ‘Andrew & Maudlin’ in Playford Pills to Purge Melancholy II 66: They Cudgel’d their Arses as if they were Mad.
[UK]J. Lacey Sauny the Scot II i: marg.: I match’d to Thee! what to such a Fellow with such a Gridiron Face [...] Foh it almost turns my stomach to look on’t. saun.: Gud an your Stomach to see his Face, What will ye dea when ye see his Arse, Madam.
[WI] letter Aug. 9 The State of the Island of Jamaica 55: The said Governor of Trinadado [...] abruptly answered, that the Governor of Jamaica was not a Gentleman [...] and that he might take his Demand and wipe his A--se with it.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy I 336: Joan next made hast, / In self same Case, / To fix the Pot close to her own A—.
[UK]Bailey (trans.) Erasmus’ Colloquies 317: Turning his Arse towards him, lets out a great Fart full in his Face.
[UK]R. Bull Grobianus 243: He pull’d his Breeches down, and shew’d his A-- From whence a golden Show’r of Ordure fell, Horrid to think, how horrid to smell!
[UK] ‘The Cullies Invitation’ Hop Garland 4: From all Parts they come, / jovial Lads and Lasses, / To the fee fau fum, / while they Jig their Arses.
[UK]Hist. of Jack Horner 8: At last she tumbl’d down, and then he bit her by the arse.
[UK]Nancy Dawson’s Jests 13: What, says he, that urchin married to such a strapper, Oons, ’tis a glyster pipe in the arse of an elephant.
[UK] ‘The Servant’s Pedigree’ in Holloway & Black I (1975) 249: We’ll pay off the old score with kicks upon her a—.
[UK]R. Tomlinson Sl. Pastoral 3: My Nancy is gone, and my joys are all fled, / And my arse hangs behind me as heavy as lead.
[UK]Dialogue Between the Coalman and his Son and the Town-Gurd 3: Magot said I! there’s nae mair magots about them, nor what’s about ye’re auld arse ye bitch.
[UK]Young Coalman’s Courtship 9: I had a pair of cheeks like a chapman’s arse.
[UK]J. Lackington letter XXXIX Memoirs 315: I [...] spent several hours in exploring that stupendous cavern, called The Devil’s A--- in the Peake.
[UK] ‘The Summer Morn’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) IV 266: There Damon lay, with Sylvia gay, / To love they thought nae crime, Sir, / The wild birds sang, the echoes rang, / While Damon’s arse beat time.
J. Churchill ‘Seniority’ in Poems II 130: [He] wriggl’d about, / In dread, as the air through his nostrils shou’d pass; / His nose may detect some faux pas in his ****.
[UK] ‘Old Woman of Rumford’ in Holloway & Black II (1979) 233: With her barrow she’d pass / Soliciting her customers / To buy her precious Ar— / (Chorus) tichokes an Colliflowers.
[UK] ‘Wellington’s Victory’ Wellington’s Laurels 3: Others try’d to bolt thro’ the passes, / So they were shot in the backside, / Tho’ the vulgar would say in their a---s.
[UK]Hist. of Jack Horner 8: [as cit. 1750].
[UK] ‘Sandman Joe’ Lummy Chaunter 82: Then away he went with his flaming lass, / To play the game you all know, / Whilst gallows Joe he wagged his a--e, / And roaring, &c.
[UK]Flash Mirror 11: Why is pinching your backside like a strong poison? — Because it is arse-nic.
[UK] ‘Go For Go: or a Bit On The Sly’ Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 14: And you are his captain, so pray let me pass, / I don’t like strange men to be feeling my a--e.
The C — , The Open C — [broadside] Her black hair bristl'd, her white arse roll'd.
[UK]Pearl 1 July in Bold (1979) 169: He popped in his prick, she heaved up her arse.
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) I 28: Fred so excited me about the girls’ arses, as he called them.
[UK]C. Pearl in Blatchford Memoirs (1983) 28: Gaston’s arse [...] began to rise and fall energetically.
[US]E. Pound in Witemeyer Pound/Williams Correspondence (1996) 42: Lamentable that the two halves of what might have made a fairly decent poet shd. be [...] divided by the fuckin buttocks of the arse... wide atlantic ocean.
[UK]‘Henry Green’ Living (1978) 279: It wouldn’t’ve bruised ’is arse if it ’ad fetched him one.
[UK]L. MacNeice ‘Bagpipe Music’ Coll. Poems 97: It’s no go the Government grant, it’s no go the elections, / Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.
[UK]Mass-Observation Report on Juvenile Drinking 11: Investigator overhears one of the men say to the women: ‘Look at those bloody little bitches over there, they want their bloody arses smacked’.
[UK](con. 1912) B. Marshall George Brown’s Schooldays 5: If you want to talk about old Carere scratching his bottom talk about his scratching his arse although bum will do at a pinch.
[Aus]D. Hewett Bobbin Up (1961) 186: Poor old Sparks, With an arse full of sparks.
[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 43: The rolling pin was made of brass, / They turned me up and smacked my arse.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 65: She monotonously wiggled her arse in the faces of the bald-headed old geezers.
[UK]G.F. Newman Sir, You Bastard 145: The man appeared to be all arse.
[UK]A. Burgess 1985 (1980) 152: The firemen of London sat on thire arses and pic ked their teeth.
[UK]C. Dexter Service of all the Dead (1980) 158: And all you can do is to sit on that great fat arse of yours and say you’re sorry.
[UK]A. Sayle Train to Hell 55: You need to develop ‘eyes in the back of your arse’ as we professional cyclists say.
[UK]D. Jarman diary 7 Nov. Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 250: The Independent would not print the word ‘arse’ in my Robert Mapplethorpe piece – they changed it to ‘anus’.
[US]Hip-Hop Connection Jan. 70: Then it all ends cheekily, with the unveiling of a pair of arses.
[Aus]L. Redhead Cherry Pie [ebook] I kicked off denim hotpants with flames appliquéd over the arse, shook my long dark hair and shimmied in a red spangled bikini.

2. in a sexual context.

(a) the vagina; occas. the penis.

[[UK]Langland Piers Plowman 7.306: For an hore of hure ers-wynnynge may hardiloker tythe Þan an erraunt vsurer] [MED].
[UK] ‘As I Was Riding’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I 71: I had some hope, & to her spoke, / ‘sweet hart, shall I put my flesh in thine?’ / ‘with all my hart, Sir! your nose in my arse’ / quoth she.
[UK]J. Harington Epigrams No. 352: Oh head of wisdom skarse. / Thou seekst a nurse, but thou wouldst have (an) _____.
[UK]Preswick ‘My Mistress is a Lady’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) V 13: [Her] Ct is grown so common; have a care of your tarse, Least she fire it with her arse, for she is free of all men.
[UK] ‘On the Ladies of the Court’ in Wilson Court Satires of the Restoration (1976) 4: Jermyn’s tarse Will claw her arse And make her soon rebound.
[UK]Rochester ‘A Ramble in St James’s Park’ Works (1721) 84: Turn up your longing A--e to the Air.
[UK]Rochester ‘Timon’ n.p.: Hard as the arse of Mosely, under which / The coachman sweats as ridden by a witch.
[UK]C. Sackville ‘A Faithful Catalogue’ in Lord Poems on Affairs of State (1968) IV 193: She scorns such dwindles, her capacious arse / Is fitter for thy scepter, than thy tarse. [Ibid.] 196: The sodomite complains of too much room / And for an arse disdains her spacious womb.
[UK] ‘Tom Tinker’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I 171: Tom Tinker I say was a jolly stout Lad / He tickled young Nancy and made her stark mad; / To have a new Rubbers with him on the Grass, / By reason she knew that he had a good ---.
[UK] ‘The Long Vacation’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) IV 145: So to the Tavern we went, / A Curse on the Place; / For her Love was so hot, / It soon fir’d my A---.
[UK]Penkethman’s Jests 106: Under this Tomb lies the Ingarstone Parson, / Upon which very stone he clapt Mary’s A--- on.
[UK]N. Ward ‘Vulcan and Venus’ Miscellaneous Works IV 137: Get you gone and be pox’d, to your old Bully Mars. Let a God be Slave to your Goddeship’s A–s.
[UK] ‘Wha’ll Maw Me Now?’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) II 263: But deevil tak’ the lousy loon, / Denies the bairn he got! / Or lea’s the merry arse he loe’d / To wear a ragged coat!
[UK] ‘Come Where The Ar-s Pin Quivers’ Flare-Up Songster 11: Come where the ar-s-pin quivers / Maids who are fond of skivers, / Leave your papa, and your mamma, / I’ll put you on the Peg, —.
[UK] ‘Sam Swipes’ Cuckold’s Nest 21: She twigged his long musket, and could not stand mute, / He primed it so quickly, and it came to pass, / That he banged his musket balls against Sally’s ---.
Man of Pleasure’s Illus. Pocket-book n.p.: Mother Willit, of Gerrard Street, who could turn out forty dress mots; and, to crack her own wids, ‘So help her kidnies, she al’us turned her gals out with a clean a—e and a good tog’.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 84: All ye had, me good woman, when I married ye, was yer arse and a prayer book.

(b) (orig. US/Aus.) sexual conquests; thus generic for a woman when viewed purely as a sex object; often as bit of arse.

‘Ricki Francis’ Kings X Hooker 5: ‘If you want her for a bit of arse that’s different’.
[UK]M. Walters Echo 199: He started yelling that I was a rent-boy and that anyone who wanted a bit of my arse should just come in the tent and take it.
[Aus]P. Temple Truth 265: His bit of dumb teenage weathergirl arse.

3. of an object, the rear.

[UK]Massinger Virgin-Martyr II iii: The a----, as it were, or fag-end of the world.
[UK]R. Brome Queens Exchange Act V: We’l have their Carts by th’ arses, Hardles, Wheelbarrows.
[UK]Long Meg of Westminster 39: Taking the sculls herself, rowed him over at the boat’s arse.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 24 8–15 Nov. 206: Mr. Gregories, at his Office at Tyburn [...] may make her a Pasport, and send her to the Devill her Master, to whom she of due right belongeth, having formerly dropyt out of his Carts-Arse.
[UK] ‘A Vindication of the Rump’ Rump Poems and Songs (1662) II 59: I saw a poor Fellow all nak’d to the waste, / And whipt at the Arse of a Cart.
[UK]C. Gildon Dialogue from Hell of Cuckoldom 12: We had been worm’d out of our Birth-right by the Arse and Refuse of the World.
[UK]N. Ward Vulgus Britannicus I 8: ’Twas then the very Dregs or Arse / Of all the Jarring Universe.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 443: He was only whipt at the Cart’s Arse.
[UK]J. Iggulden Storms of Summer 123: Them phutten rocks, eh? [...] suppose you wasn’t watching comen in! Bump! Crunch! Arse right outa d’boat.
[Ire]R. Doyle Van (1998) 559: Jimmy Sr was carrying a brown bag that was already soggy; the arse was going to fall out of it.

4. used generically to mean one’s person, one’s body.

[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c 354: I was as much plagu’d to take one William Ryland [...] I was dangling after his Arse a Fortnight, without any Success.
[UK]Nancy Dawson’s Jests 30: How grand to the gallows the doctor will pass, / With tag-rag and bobtail to follow his a--e!
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) II 277: For bully Mars / I see is hard at Hector’s a--e.
[UK]New London City Jester 32: He remembered him seven years before, when he had hardly a rag to his a---.
[US]G. McMillan Old Breed 320: I brought my own arse outa there, swabbie.
[Ire]J.P. Donleavy Ginger Man (1958) 268: I hope to see your arse in the Old Bailey.
[WI]E. Lovelace Schoolmaster (1979) 147: Get your arse back here Monday morning bright and early, if you want to work.
[UK]F. Taylor Auf Wiedersehen Pet Two 213: Get your hairy arses round the back!
[Ire]R. Doyle Van (1998) 384: He knew chaps that wouldn’t bother their arses getting up, and wives as well who stayed in bed.
[Ire]F. Mac Anna Cartoon City 219: Why would Dez bother his arse?
[UK]Indep. Rev. 28 Jan. 7: Well tell Sebastian to get his arse over here right now.
[Aus]L. Redhead Cherry Pie [ebook] ‘Yasmin’d fire my arse’.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] I was turning into a sissy, a nancy, a goddam girl. Toughen the fuck up [...] Get your arse in there.
[SA]Cape Times IOL (SA) 19 May [Internet] The only thing he is sorry about is his arse landing in jail for 3 years.

5. an unpleasant person, esp. a fool, an idiot.

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 26 Apr. 4/3: That harse o’ an hartist gives me the sulks.
[SA]A. La Guma Walk in the Night (1968) 17: I don’t give a damn for a bastard white arse.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Apr. 44: ‘That arse – you know, the consorter what dollied you on the bust last year – what’s his name?’ ‘Taylor?’ ‘Yeah. That’s him’.
[Aus]C. Galea Slipper 145: I’ve fallen for the oldest worn-out trick in the book and if it hadn’t been for Greek Tommy I'd have gone on making a complete arse of myself.
[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Arse. 1. Despicable person. An epithet often directed at prison officers.
[UK]Fraser & Meadows TwentyFourSeven [film script] (1998) 8: That’s dark, that is. I never have your chips, you mardy little arse.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Goodoo Goodoo 258: The sailor who took the head count was the dumbest, most miserable arse God ever put breath into.
[UK]J. Joso Soothing Music for Stray Cats 24: I thought I might sound like an arse, and I felt myself blush.
[Aus]P. Temple Truth 248: A man’s thick white towelling gown. The property of the mystical lawyer arse from Byron Bay?
[UK]V. McDermid Out of Bounds (2017) 238: What kind of arse would lift a laptop belonging to a polis.

6. (Aus.) a worthless, unpleasant place.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Apr. 45: Marg pulls the manager into his office – really givin’ it to him about what an arse of a place his store really is.

7. (Aus.) something worthless.

[Aus]C. Bowles G’DAY 63: When a player makes a good play it’s a ball-tearer, unless he’s one of the opposition, in which case it’s pure arse.

8. (orig. Aus.) in fig. senses.

(a) brazen effrontery; see phrs. starting more arse... below [punning on SE cheek/cheek n.2 ].

[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Cop This Lot 8: A man would need plenty of arse to pinch another bloke’s book.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 29: Having the arse to come in when others are hesitant.

(b) luck.

[Aus]F.J. Hardy Legends from Benson’s Valley 73: ‘They’ve had the luck of Eric Connolly all night,’ Darky said sheepishly. ‘Our turn to have a bit of arse.’.
[Aus]B. Moore Lex. of Cadet Lang. 14: arse luck; especially in the collocation pure arse (luck intensified, sheer luck).

(c) courage.

[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 98: I don’t mind admitting it. My arse went for a second back there.
[UK]N. Griffiths Stump 49: Tommy hasn’t got the fuckin arse to bounce in on the Chinks, has he? Pure fuckin shiters, man.

9. (Aus., also big A) as the arse, dismissal, occas. general rejection; usu. in phr. get/give the arse v., to be dismissed, to dismiss.

[Aus]Overland (Melbourne) v 4: We cleaned up that concreting before 9 a.m. only to get the arse just as Plugger had intended .
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. (2nd edn).
[Aus] ‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxii 6/1: big a: To ignore a person. By giving the big A is to show the backside on unwelcome company.
[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 20: Normally if I smell a No in the air I give the bird the big A. No risk.
[Aus] in Lowenstein & Hills Under Hook 18: Listen, tell Freddie to pull his finger out or he’ll get the arse.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 160: Here’s happy Warren home early from work. They’ve probably just given him the arse.
Week in Sport 3 May [Internet] The Brisbane President had just pledged full support for the embattled coach, and we all know that means he’s about to get the arse.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 123: One may get the arse or the big a — that is lose one’s job or position.
Pulse 94.7 FM Geelong (Aus.) [radio] Who will be the first coach next season to get the arse???
[Aus]P. Temple Truth 226: Don’t look at me. We get the arse from Defence but somebody tells Ruskin about this killing.

10. (also as ass) a comparative intensifier, e.g. cold as arse.

A. Clarke Survivors of the Crossing 11: And as you hold that glass in your hand, pour two, three drops of the steam on the floor and think of me, Jackson, because it cold, cold, cold as arse.
[UK]T. Rhone Old Story Time I i: Must have been as poor as ass.
[WI]Allsopp Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.
B. Elton High Society 119: Nowt goin’ down anywhere except cocaine, pills and vintage Dom P. Fookin’ dull as arse.

11. (W.I.) an unspecified thing.

[UK]S. Selvon Housing Lark 53: No one want to say outright, ‘To arse with that idea’. [...] Syl ain’t do one arse about saving.
[WI]D. Walcott ‘The Spoiler’s Return’ Coll. Poems (1986) 437: Things ain’t go change [...] The poor still poor, whatever arse they catch.

In derivatives

arseness (n.) [sfx -ness, state or condition]

(W.I., Trin./Tob.) wilful stupidity.

[WI]V.S. Naipaul A House For Mr Biswas 357: God! God! Isn’t this just the sort of arseness to make you go and dance on the grave afterwards?
V.S. Naipaul Nightwatchman’s Occurence Bk [ebook] Baksh, you know you talking arseness?
arser (n.)

1. (orig. hunting/riding) a fall on one’s behind.

[UK]E. Waugh Handful of Dust 36: You just opened your bloody legs and took an arser. Keep hold on to the reins next time. [Ibid.] 41: It wasn’t Thunderclap’s fault. I just opened my bloody legs and cut an arser.
[UK]H. Wolfe Upward Anguish 97: If you don’t ride all the time, first thing you know you come an arser when you’re taking a two-inch fence.
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 159: You two’ve the guts to get across this trappy bit of country without coming an imperial arser.
[UK]K. Bonfiglioli Don’t Point That Thing at Me 229: What he dearly loves [...] is those candid snapshots of junior royals taking an ‘arser’ from a horse in a puissance trial.
[UK]G. Household Arrows of Desire [ebook] And then she goes and cuts an arser and breaks her arm!

2. in fig. use of sense 1.

[UK]R.W.F. Poole Arthur James & I 28: Where I really cut an arser is where I meet a scholarly foxhunter who can paste my pretensions with both barrels, leaving only the beak and claws to mark their passing.
[WI]S. Fry Revenge 224: I am capable of treading my way around the dark and slippery corridors that people like you inhabit without coming an arser.
arsewise (adj.) [SE wise; used as a generic negative]

absurd, ludicrous, wrong, crooked.

[UK]J. Hawes Dead Long Enough 231: Stop me if I’m utterly arsewise on this: but would you be that Harry Mac-Donald off the telly?
[UK]J. Hawes White Powder, Green Light 254: Observe the way everything between me and Percival is arsewise!
arsewise (adv.) [SE wise; used as a generic negative]

back-to-front.

[UK]M. McCarthy Remember Me 250: You’ve got that arsewise. I haven’t been running this office for the past three years.
[Aus]Penguin Bk of More Aus. Jokes 275: I know my Bible arsewise.
[US]J.M. Weinblatt Chaffinch Charlie 182: The trials of climbing in the garden, kicking a ball inaccurately, throwing the ball arsewise, had in itself a certain magic.

Pertaining to sycophancy

In compounds

arse crawl (v.) (also crawl up someone’s arse) [crawl v.1 (1)]

1. to toady to, to act as a sycophant; thus arse-crawling adj.

[UK]G. Kersh Nine Lives Bill Nelson 36: I says to Nelson: ‘Keep your nose out o’ my squad [...] Arscrawl [sic] around your own dirty little squad.’.
[UK]G. Griffin Scorpion on a Stone 41: Some people couldn’t care less what happened to their men so long as they could arse-crawl round some bone-headed policeman.
[Aus]A. Buzo Front Room Boys Scene viii: You’re crawling up Hendo’s arse.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 26/2: late C.19–20.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 7: The rest of them will crawl up his arse!
[SA]P. Hotz Muzukuru 59: I don’t give an ounce of pigshit for all the rules and regulations. So don’t you come crawling up my arse with all this nonsense.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Birthday 139: ‘How is he, then?’ – the arse-crawling bastard.
[UK]N. ‘Razor’ Smith Rusty Gun (2011) [ebook] Make one of them a governor and the rest will crawl up his arse.

2. to harass.

[US]Simon & Burns ‘Stray Rounds’ Wire ser. 2 ep. 9 [TV script] Now you go the police crawlin’ up your ass.
arse creep (v.) [creep v. (1)]

to toady to.

[US] ‘A List of Briticisms’ in AS XVII:1 Feb. 4/1: arse creeping. Attempting to get better grades than one would otherwise receive, by simulating an interest in an instructor or in the subject he teaches.
[UK]K. Amis Girl, 20 [ebook] That’s why I arse-creep youth. Mind you, I go for their attitudes and the rest of it as well. Quite a bit, anyway.
[SA]D.D. Irving African Cookboy 348: No matter how much they tried to arse creep you by giving you the status of a temporary human being, their distaste at your being black always came shining through.
arse-creeper (n.)

a sycophant.

[UK]D. Bagley Freedom Trap (2009) 329: Watch out for Simpson – he’s a proper arse-creeper. If you find him hanging around, clip his bloody earhole.
[UK]Ingrams & Wells Bottoms Up! 37: Altogether too much of an arse creeper as far as the Boss was concerned.
[SA]P. Hotz Muzukuru 367: Freed me from being whitey’s arsecreeper – that’s what.
[UK]L. Laighton Hideous Gifts 98: He was a fat brat, a stuck-up little arse-creeper who thought he was better than anyone else.

Adjectival or adverbial uses

arse-firking (adj.)

sodomizing, thus homosexual.

[UK]J. Phillips Maronides (1678) V 95: He was Ascanius Padagouge / A most austere, ars-firking dog.
arsepants

in a suspicious or contemptuous manner.

[US]J. Steinbeck Sweet Thursday (1955) 50: Why, people would get to looking arsepants at a real nice head. [Ibid.] 255: arsepants, askance.
arse-splitting

a general intensifier: extreme, very great.

[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 13: Alcohol at arse-splitting quantities was more their bag.

General uses

arseache (n.) (also ass-ache)

1. (Aus./US) a general insult; thus arse-aching adj.

[US]T. Williams Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Act I: Did anyone ever tell you that you’re an ass-aching Puritan, Brick?
[Aus]D. Maitland Breaking Out 169: You are a bloody lop-eared, [...] arse-aching, [...] fart-faced flip of a fucking galah!
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 127: In between [the extremes of insult] lies an enormous and subtly graded range of possibilities that include the following: arseache; arsehole; [...] pain in the neck/arse.

2. a bad temper.

[UK]M. Newall ‘Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knyght’ in Indep. Rev. 26 Dec. 1: Queene Brenda has gotte the arseayke over this.
arse-alight (n.) [SE alight, i.e. flames come out of its behind]

a German WWII V-2 rocket.

[UK] (ref. to WWII) in G. Tremlett Little Legs 24: Later we had the V2 rockets which we called the ‘arse-alights’ because they had flames coming out of their backsides.
arse bandit (n.)

see separate entry.

arse-case (n.)

used as an image of a tight, narrowly cut garment.

[UK]J. Taylor Answer to the Rattle-heads 4: Goodly long breeches so narrow, and strait to your buttocks, like an Arse-case.
arse-end (n.)

see separate entry.

arse-freak (n.) [-freak sfx]

a fan of hetero- or homosexual anal intercourse.

[US]E. Sanders [title] Bugger! An Anthology of Anal Erotic, Pound Cake Cornhole, Arse-Freak and Dreck Poems.
arsefucker (n.)

(Aus.) a sodomite, a male homosexual.

[Aus]P. Temple Broken Shore (2007) [ebook] You think you can shack up with a swaggie out there and nobody knows? You can let your arsefucker punch out innocent citizens and you look the other way?
arse-grapes (n.) (also bottom grapes)

haemorrhoids.

[UK]K. Lette Mad Cows 4: Crying in agony from [...] mastitis, constipation, haemorrhoids — or ‘bottom grapes’ as her friend Gillian so quaintly called them.
[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 87 Dec. n.p.: arse-grapes n. Descriptive term for haemorrhoids.
[UK]D. MacEochaidh Liquorish Durg 158: ‘Get new lad on it [...] ,’ says Dodgy, ruminating round his undercrackers, his arse-grapes playing up.
arsehole

see separate entries.

arse-kicker (n.)

an aggressive, violent or overbearing person; thus arse-kicking n., aggressive behaviour, adj. arse-kicking, demanding, exhausting.

[Aus]D. Maitland Breaking Out 219: I may be an officer and a bloody gentleman, but that don’t mean I can’t lower myself to indulge in a bit of arse-kicking in the ranks.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 123: arse may be licked, as in arse-licker, kicked, as in arse-kicker, or kissed as in kiss my arse.
[Aus]P. Temple Black Tide (2012) [ebook] He knew his stuff, he’d had a real arse-kicking apprencticeship.
[UK] in Indep. 16 May 30/7: Blessed are the arse-kickers – now you’re talking.
arse-lick

see separate entries.

arsenuts (n.)

(UK juv.) faecal matter found clinging to the anal hairs and buttock cleft.

OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] arsenuts n. lumps of solid faecal and other matter that accumulate in the hairs around the anus and between the cleft of the buttocks.
arse paper (n.) (also ass paper)

1. (N.Z./US) lavatory paper.

implied in tear someone up for arse-paper v.
[US]A. Bessie Men in Battle 264: ‘Good ass-paper,’ said the men; ‘we’ve run out of The Daily’.
[UK]J. Burnley Penguin Modern Stories 9-12 131: Da said the walls were as thin as arse paper.
posting at Poop Report 21 Sept. [Internet] As a 12 year old on a school camp I held my poo back from Sunday morning to Friday morning. The toilets were disgusting at the camp, brimming with crap and arse paper.
[US]M. Croucher Bulletproof 95: We were meant to get 24 hours of ‘forced rest’ - decent scran, a hot shower, soft arse paper and a general replen.

2. (N.Z.) in fig. use, a despicable individual or object.

[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.
arsepiece (n.)

a general term of derision.

Glesga Gloss. [Internet] Arse piece An insult said to someone annoying you.
[UK]J. Harris Observations 466: He was such an arsepiece the very thought of it turned my stomach.
[UK]J. Fagan Panopticon (2013) 95: I’m an arse-piece. I know nothing about nothing.
arse-pin (n.)

the penis.

[UK]‘Come Where the Ar-s Pin Quivers’ in Flare-Up Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) IV 278: Come where the ar-s-pin quivers, / Maids who are fond of skivers, / Leave your papa and mamma, / I’ll put you on the Peg.
arse poker (n.) [play on SE poker = game/phallic implement]

(UK gay) anal intercourse.

[UK]Flame : a Life on the Game 28: At school where I’d occasionally hear people being described as ‘bum bandits’ who played ‘arse poker’.
arse-shagger (n.) [shagger n.1 (1)]

a male homosexual; a sodomite.

[UK]I. Welsh Filth 130: Tattie famine, my hole. It’s cause these fenian cunts are erse-shaggers.
arse-stabber (n.)

a sodomite.

‘List of Banned Words’ at www.instinct.org [Internet] arse bandit arsestabber arse stabber arsetang arse tang arsepiece.
arse-strings (n.)

a metaphorical part of the body, holding the buttocks in place.

[UK]‘Mr. S’ Gammer Gurton’s Needle in Whitworth (1997) II i: What devil, be thine arse-strings bursten?
arse-up (n.)

a failure, a loser.

[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 123: Another erse-up wi that scabby black tie: ah yank it oaf for aboot the tenth time.
arse-wipe/-wiper

see separate entries.

arse-worm (n.)

a diminutive person.

[UK]Man in the Moon 28 May-5 June 68: Do you think that the People of England [...] will now be governed by half a score of Murses arse-wormes, loathed of all the World?
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.

Meaning back-to-front or head-over-heels

In phrases

arse about face (also ass about tit)

back-to-front, in confusion.

[Ire]Both Sides of the Gutter part II 12: What suppose, your souls? When the M—q—s crosses de herring-brook, it will be all a—e-about, in a crack.
[UK]J. Manchon Le Slang.
[UK]R. Grinstead They Dug a Hole 70: It shook me too when I heard. But that’s the army all over, arse about face.
[UK]I. Cochrane Streak of Madness 53: He always got his words arse about face. He said to Da one morning: ‘I put my foot in the horn as the trousers blew eight.’ .
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘May the Force be with You’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] But no, you get that arse about face, don’t you [...] Ruined my entire evening.
[Aus]C. Bowles G’DAY 98: A bloke who doesn’t know what he’s about doesn’t know if he’s Arthur or Martha. [...] Such people often get things arse about face and anything they’re involved in is very muddled and runs on Rafferty’s Rules.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 1 Nov. 1: Which is all a bit arse about face, as they say in Barnsley.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 1 Oct. 17: In a way this is all ass about tit. The real question should surely be: is the music any good?
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] arse-about-face n. back to front, wrong way round.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 140: Sonny and Roy, doing things arse-about-face, as per their usual operating procedure, decided to really check him out.
arse over apex (also base over apex)

head-over-heels.

[UK]Sporting Times 14 Mar. 1/3: An Elephant [...] was Not a little Astonished at falling Base over Apex to the Bottom of a Well.
[UK]M. Howell Steps to a Fortune 75: But because of its shortness it [i.e. a dinghy] was [...] liable to go arse over apex.
[US]L. Sprague de Camp Reluctant King 191: If you do, its momentum will toss you arse- over-apex.
G. Sretford at www.flatlands.easynet.co.uk [Internet] Found one at the second attempt although in doing so I had managed to slip on a piece of perspex lying on cobbles and gone arse over apex onto the deck (to the mirth and amusement of onlookers).
Canvey Island F.C. [Internet] The biggest laugh of the afternoon came on 21 minutes when Richard O’Connor took a corner for H&R from the right. As he kicked the ball he slipped arse over apex and the ball landed somewhere outside the ground.
arse over Charlie

head-over-heels.

[Aus]J. Cleary Sundowners 42: Without me specs I might fall arse-over-Charlie down the stairs. [Ibid.] 205: This has sort of bowled me arse over Charlie.
[Aus]K. Clift Saga of a Sig 128: It [i.e. brandy] was potent stuff and combined with the heat, knocked me ‘arse over Charlie’.
[Aus]J. Cleary Very Private War 132: I tripped arse-over-Charlie and nearly scalded Ruth with a basin of hot water.
arse over ears

1. completely.

[US]W.T. Vollmann You Bright and Risen Angels (1988) 315: My thought was to [...] get them indebted to us arse over ears.

2. lit. or fig. head-over-heels.

[US]M. Jarrett Mariah’s Prize 90: Ah, Miss Mariah, you'll set Cap'n Sparhawk arse over ears rigged out like that.
[UK]L. Stacey Murder in Mind 55: First time I rode him, he got away from me and went arse over ears at the first fence!
[US]T. Dare Twice Tempted by a Rogue 171: You have the poor man turned arse over ears, and he's scrabbling to pretend he's still in control.
arse over head

head-over-heels.

[UK]D. Gunston (ed.) Jemmy Twitcher’s Jests 39: She fell over [...] arse over head and her black bottom was discovered; you may all guess what the beholder saw, beloved a black sight you may be sure .
[UK]J.B. Ker Archaeology of Pop. Phrases II 115: Sollen, sollebollen [...] is to toss arse over head, head over heels.
[UK]J.B. Ker Archaeology of Pop. Phrases (rev. edn) I 105: arse over head. As in the expression, he fell arse over head.
[UK]Wright EDD I.
[UK]J. Manchon Le Slang.
[UK]C. Harris Three-Ha’Pence to the Angel 38: Don’t fall arse over ’ead with yourself; ’ere, this way.
[UK]J. Gosling Ghost Squad 178: I went arse over head down a cellar at Dalston Lane.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Gone Fishin’ 134: She’ll be dark soon, an’ yer don’t want to fall harse over ’ead.
[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 137: So I go whack. And knock this big bloke arse over head.
[Aus]D. Maitland Breaking Out 124: He [...] fell arse-over-bloody-head at our feet.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Goodoo Goodoo 96: Everyone, except Mick, went arse over head into the river.
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] arse-over-head, arse-over-elbow, arse-over-tit v. tripping, going head over heels, falling in an embarrasing way.
[Aus]J. Gasteen Under the Mulga 200: Sheep arse-over-head in all directions in a cloud of dust.
[Aus]J.J. DeCeglie Drawing Dead [ebook] I went ass over head to really put on a show.
[UK]S. Donovan Timeshare 159: I also managed to fall arse-over-head down on Bourbon Street, whilst out partying one night!
arse over kick

(Irish) head-over-heels.

[Ire](con. 1920s) L. Redmond Emerald Square 83: I [...] nearly went arse over kick into the quarry.
[Ire]O’Byrne Files: Dublin Sl. Dict. [Internet] Arse over kick Adv. phr. Head over heels.
[US]D.J. Mills Treskel 172: Aha! Another one went arse over kick!
arse over kite (also a over k) [northern UK dial. kite, the stomach]

(N.Z.) head-over-heels.

[UK]M. Gee A Special Flower 144: And tell her not to come near em again. I’ll kick her arse over kite if she does.
[NZ]R.J. Williams Skin Deep 65: Try as he might to pick his way through the swirling ranks of choppers, he’s downed, arse over kite [DNZE].
[UK]M. Gee Sole Survivor 161: I hit that little bugger under his ribs, bowled him arse over kite.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 10/1: a over k being tipped upside down, rudely; short for ‘arse over kite’.
[NZ]W. Ihimaera Bulibasha 78: My Aunt Sephora discovered that she had natural flotation when she slipped and went arse over kite down a waterfall.
[NZ]D. Laird ‘Gold Prospecting on the West Coast of South Island’ in Author’s Den [Internet] I was almost up to them pushing against a fairly fast current when I suddenly slipped and went arse over kite head first into the bleedin’ creek loosing the lot as I tried to save myself.
[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.
[NZ]J. van Buren Pass 179: The drawbar was wedged hard into the tyre of the uphill wheel and I realised that this is what had saved the tractor from going arse over kite.
arse/ass over teakettle (also arse over kettle, ass over teapot, tail over teakettle)

head-over-heels.

[US]Everybody’s Mag. 56 65/1: Gravy whirls, lashes out with her hind feet and [...] knocks him tail over teakettle.
[US]W.C. Williams White Mule 94: If I was him I would of fired you ass over teakettle out of the place.
[US]J. Mitchell McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (2001) 88: Ass over teakettle [...] Butt, behind, bottom and all!
‘One-Eyed Riley’ in Banglestien’s Bar n.p.: I shoved the bastard down the stairs / Ass over kettle in a pail of water.
[UK](con. 1943) A. Myrer Big War 135: He threw me out of his ancestral hall: tail over teakettle.
[US]J. Kirkwood There Must Be a Pony! 250: I took about three steps and fell ass-over-teakettle.
[US](con. 1944) E.M. Nathanson Dirty Dozen (2002) 195: Go for the shinbones [...] and let nature take over . . . ass over teakettle!
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 124: The jack [...] got it right through the eye. Knocked the boar arse over kettle.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 127: I kicked him down the stairs. he went ass over teakettle.
[UK]A. Higgins ‘The Bird I Fancied’ in Helsingør Station and Other Departures 200: ‘Have a gander at this.’ ‘Arse over tea-kettle.’.
[UK]C. Piprell Bangkok Knights 197: We were grabbed and hurled arse over teakettle into the sea.
[Aus]P. Temple Black Tide (2012) [ebook] Potholes like bomb thingies [...] Can’t see the bastards. Arse over kettle about seven times.
[US]T. Dorsey Florida Roadkill 231: Falling ass over teakettle into the middle of Duval Street.
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] ass-over-tea-kettle v. tripping going head over heels, falling downhill.
[UK]D. Taylor [bk title] Arse Over Teakettle: An Irreverent Story of Coming of Age During the 1940s .
[Can]R. Hansen Man in Motion 17: He [...] just flipped me over backwards, tail over teakettle.
[US]S. King Finders Keepers (2016) 46: The last thing he wanted to do was tumble down the embankment ass over teapot.
arse over tip [euph. for tit n.2 (1)]

head-over-heels; euph as heels over tip.

[UK]‘The Marriage of Dumpling Bet’ in Fal-Lal Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 23: She fell down the dunniken — over tip!
[UK]W.S. Churchill q. in W. Manchester Last Lion (1983) n.p.: [Nearly thirty lancers] fell knocked A.O.T. (arse over tip).
[Aus]J. Furphy Buln-Buln and the Brolga (1948) [Internet] An’ how much of a load can you stack onto her [i.e. a boat], without her goin’ heels-over-tip.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 445: Arse over tip.
[UK](con. WW1) P. MacDonald Patrol 44: ‘He went buttocks over tip’.
[UK]Life and Letters To-day 19 82: ‘She jumped in the cold river, she jumped,’ he said, his mouth against my ear, ‘arse over tip and Diu she was dead’.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 234: There was a young man of Calcutta / Who tried to write ‘Cunt’ on a shutter. / He had got to ‘C–U-’ / When a pious Hindu / Knocked him arse over tip in the gutter.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 335: [He] sent him tumbling arse over tip in the water.
[UK](con. 1930s) J. Wolveridge Ain’t it Grand 41: He fell arse over tip.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 33: A steep, darkly lit staircase that could have you going arse over tip if you’d had a few.
arse over tit (also a over t, arse/ass over elbow, ass over tits) [tit n.2 (1)]

head-over-heels.

[UK](con. 1914–18) Brophy & Partridge Songs & Sl. of the British Soldier 37: She caught her foot / In a bramble, a bramble, / And — over — she came.
[US]D.K. Findlay Search for Amelia 146: Then they dropped one [i.e. a bomb] fair in me bit of garden, blew the missus arse over tit.
[Aus]D. O’Grady A Bottle of Sandwiches 114: If we’d been caught, we’d have been knocked smartly A over T.
[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 47: You could have knocked me arse over tit with a feather.
[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 17: A over T (Arse over Tit) Fall over heavily.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 27/1: WW1.
[Aus]Penguin Bk of More Aus. Jokes 378: He tripped over the microphone cable and went arse over tit down those little stairs.
[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 104: Larry toppled ass over tits.
[US](con. 1960s) G. Washington Blood Brothers 127: He gave out a loud Tarzan-like scream and went ass over elbow down onto the floor.
Wara News Sept. 205: It can result in a lightly aerated map that resembles a colander after the event but the hands are OK – only suffering the usual lacerations acquired from falling A over T, etc.
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] arse-over-head, arse-over-elbow, arse-over-tit v. tripping, going head over heels, falling in an embarrasing way.
[UK]Guardian Sport 21 Feb. n.p.: There he was, lurking around the back like a pom, keeping well out of the way of the unseemly medal squabble going on up front, when all four blokes ahead fall a over t, and – as stunned as a mullet – Bradbury crossed the line first.
[Ire]P. Howard PS, I Scored the Bridesmaids 141: I nearly fell orse over tit over this stupid bitch begging.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 261: He wis basically the fall guy for the real gangsters [...] the sacrificial lamb that wid dae the serious jail time if it aw went erse ower tit.
[Aus] G. Johnstone ‘No Through Road’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] The thing’s gone arse over tit quicker than you could blink.
arse over turkey

lit. or fig. head-over-heels.

[Aus]J. Iggulden Dark Stranger 207: What if that fool of a boy went arse-over-turkey off his horse?
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 25: Watching Cocky snore it off — and stopping him fall arse-over-turkey off his chair.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 26: arse over turkey in British English, or arsy varsy.
[US]C. Lane Viscount’s Bawdy Bargain 209: She must act as if her whole world had not flipped arse over turkey the night before.
arse up

1. head-over-heels.

[UK]J. Manchon Le Slang.
[Aus](con. 1940s–60s) Hogbotel & ffuckes ‘The Ballad of Dan Homer’ in Snatches and Lays 18: Why, a lass may be walking as proud as a queen, / And the very next thing she’s arse-up on the green.
[Aus]A. Weller Day of the Dog 5: Watch who you’re pushing into, mate. I’ll knock you arse-up next time.
[Aus]T. Winton ‘Family’ in Turning (2005) 183: Everything was arse-up again.

2. ruined, messed up; thus intensified as arse up with care.

[NZ]G. Slatter Pagan Game (1969) 162: There we were arse up with care over the bank.
arse upwards [getting up from a fall in this manner was believed to be lucky]

1. lucky, fortunate; often as rise/raise arse upwards v., to be lucky; thus the punning Mr R. Suppards, a very lucky man.

[UK]Timon in Dyce (1842) I v: This man this day rose with his arse vpwards; To daye a fidler, and at night a noble.
[UK]J. Ray Proverbs (2nd edn) 80: He rose with his A... upwards. A sign of good luck.
[UK]Humours of a Coffee-House 9 Jan. 87: Some men are Born with their A-se upwards.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 59: To a Tavern they went, where Rumbold receiv’d the three Pounds, and the Countryman the Chain, who believ’d he had risen that Day with his Arse upwards, because he had met with so good Fortune.
www.regtransfers.co.uk [Internet] It amused me in the same way that those old joke book titles like Floating Down the River by R Suppards!

2. easily.

[UK]Indep. on Sun. 11 July 23: The prevailing wisdom among senior management was ‘Good goods sell arse-upwards’.
arseward(-backwards)

lit. or fig., upside-down, back-to-front.

Middleton & Rowley Fayre Quarrell (2010) V i: The bride cries already, and look t’other way. An you be so backward too, we shall have a fine arseward wedding on’t.
Beaumont & Fletcher Knight of Malta (1701) 368: I never knew a Rogue hang Arse-ward so, / And such a desp’rate Knave too.
[UK]Grose Provincial Gloss.
Farmer & Henley Sl. & Its Analogues (vol 1 rev. edn) 67: arsewards (adj. and adv.) = (1) backwards, (2) contrariwise, and (3) perverse.
D. Ó Muirithe Words We Use 239: A solicitor friend of mine tells me that in a case he heard in a Waterford court a year or so ago, a man claimed to have been assaulted by a neighbour, and sent ‘arseward backwards’.

Comparatives

more arse than a married cow (also more arse than a paddock-full of cows) [sense 7a above]

(Aus.) a phr. used of one who is very cheeky.

[Aus]F.J. Hardy Four-legged Lottery 188: He had more arse than a married cow playing snooker. I can tell yer. [Ibid.] That’s ‘Flukor’ Smithers [...] he had more arse than a married cow .
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 124: Someone [...] may be so cheeky as to be described as having more arse (cheek) than a paddock-full of cows.
more arse than class [sense 7a above]

(Aus.) more luck or effrontery than style.

[US]Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs [LP title] More Arse Than Class.
[NZ]L. Parry Cracks 3: You got more arse than class, working in a place like that.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 136: more arse than class More energy or luck than intelligence or style, but doing well.
[Aus]T. Winton ‘Family’ in Turning (2005) 182: ‘You were more arse than class.’ ‘Fair enough. But I just played for fun.’.

General adjectival or adverbial phrases

on the back of one’s arse

(Aus.) penniless, impoverished.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn).
on the bones of one’s arse (also on the bones of one’s backside) [i.e. one’s thinness through lack of food]

(Aus./N.Z.) very poor, impoverished.

[UK]J. Bennett Hawk Alone 171: He was on the bones of his backside and he took a room at Meyer’s place.
[Aus]C. Bowles G’DAY 70: LES. Where ja get that? [i.e.a car] Wodid that set ya back? SHANE. We’re not all on the bones of our arse.
[UK]I. Thomas Stuff of Love 59: She was bringing in the regular money, he was on the bones of his arse.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 124: Someone in straitened circumstances may be on the bones of their arse or raggy-arsed.
[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.
[Aus]G. Knight Pink Suit for a Blue Day n.p.: He’d come home when he was on the bones of his arse with no clean clothes and in need of a sleep.
[Aus]N. Cummins Tales of the Honey Badger [ebook] When you’re on the bones of your arse, opportunities to fill your guts with some good tucker must be taken seriously.
to the arse/ass

to the greatest extent.

[US]La Motta, Carter & Savage Raging Bull 39: ‘Let’s hit the cigarette wholesaler stockhouse!’ ‘You’re nuts! It’s wired to its ass.’.
up someone’s arse/ass

1. (US) immediately behind someone or bothering them in an irritating manner.

[Ire]R. Doyle Van (1998) 362: Darren stopped the ball. Normally he’d have have two or three men up his arse by now.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 1: Is that why he’s right up my arse? Wants to see what I’m playing and that?
[US]N. Green Angel of Montague Street (2004) 177: It’s easy for you to forget Antonio [...] I got him up my ass all day long.

2. (orig. US) in fig. use, irritating, bothering.

[US]D. Ponicsan Last Detail 98: ‘What’s up her ass?’ ‘Damned if I know,’ says Mule.
[Aus]L. Redhead Peepshow [ebook] When I waved she deliberately ignored me. What was up her arse?
up to the arse/ass (also up to one’s arse/ass)

(orig. US) completely overwhelmed by.

[UK]P. Terson Apprentices (1970) I iv: If Whit Sunday falls on the tenth I’m pommelled up to the arse in trouble.
[US]J. Wambaugh Blue Knight 305: We’re pretty well up to the ass in cite-ins.
[UK]Guardian Guide 25–31 July 20 n.p.: Ask them to defend a border and the next thing you know is you’re up to your arse in mud and suffering from trench foot.

Implying stupidity

not know if one’s arse was on fire (v.)

(orig. N.Z.) to be very stupid.

[UK]D. Davin For the Rest of Our Lives 258: Oh, a lot of profanity about [...] colonels who were too dumb to know if their arses were on fire.
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 57: Wouldn’t know: The start of a number of expressions all of which mean stupidity. Thus [...] ‘wouldn’t know if his arse was on fire’.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 234: wouldn’t know if his/her arse was on fire Exceptionally ignorant or vague person. ANZ.
thepunch.com.au 4 Aug. [Internet] Wayne Swan would not know if his arse was on fire.
not know one’s arse/ass from... (v.)

to be particularly stupid or ignorant, in var. combs. other than the main ones below; can be used with any n. that springs to mind, e.g. ...from a hot rock, ...from an adding machine, ...from an avalanche, ...from ice cream, ...from third base etc.

[US] in T. Jones Letters 69: Colonels and Captains so drunk that they [...] did not know their ass from a musket [HDAS].
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues (rev. edn).
[US]A. Bessie Men in Battle 91: God damn this lousy outfit [...] They don’t know their ass from a hot rock.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Men, Big World 65: That Milli, she don’t know her ass from a slippery ellum.
[[US]‘Curt Cannon’ ‘Now Die In It’ in I Like ’Em Tough (1958) 57: She was the original fiddler who didn’t know his bass from his oboe.].
[US]J. Thompson Criminal (1993) 86: You sweated that kid until he didn’t know his ass from an adding machine.
[US](con. WWII) J. Jones Thin Red Line (1963) 58: He’s a jerkoff. A mothergrabbing jerkoff [...] He don’t know his ass from third base.
[US]‘Tom Pendleton’ Iron Orchard (1967) 38: Some new boy that don’t know his ass from a ratchet.
[UK]T. Parker Frying-Pan 137: A right fucking oaf who doesn’t know his arse from the top of his head.
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 8: I maybe don’t know my ass from third base.
[US]Maledicta 1 (Summer) 12: The fool or clod doesn’t know his ass [...] from third base, or from a double-barrelled shotgun.
[US]J. Sayles Union Dues (1978) 33: S’at new kid [...] Don’t know his ass from an avalanche.
[UK]A. Burgess Earthly Powers 19: Poor young swine [...] He doesn’t know his arse from his elbow.
[US]S. King Christine 353: It meant he would have to put Jimmy Sykes in charge [...] and Jimmy didn’t know his ass from ice cream.
[UK]J. Briskin Too Much Too Soon (1986) 331: What’s there to say? That an assortment of New York weirdos don’t know their asses from hot rocks?
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 27: Not to know [one’s] ass from [one’s] elbow (or from a hole in the ground, or from third base, or from a double-barelled shotgun, or from whatever item comes quickly to the speaker’s mind. Not to know very much at all.
not know one’s arse/ass from a hole in the ground (v.)

to be particularly stupid.

[UK]M. Arnac Three of a Kind 31: He mixes right with left, can’t tell his arse from a hole in the ground, and pays bills that were never sent him.
[US]E. Hemingway letter 19 Apr. in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 417: The bourgeois critics do not know their ass from a hole in the ground.
[US]S. Sterling ‘Ten Carats of Lead’ in Black Mask Stories (2010) 224/2: You don’t know your rump from a hole in the ground.
[US](con. 1950) E. Frankel Band of Brothers 30: The downfall of democracy – about which he doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.
[US]H. Rhodes Chosen Few (1966) 180: Jackson’s got him so snowed, he don’t even know his ass from a hole in th’ ground.
[UK]P. Terson Apprentices (1970) I iv: You kids don’t know your arse from a hole in the ground.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 193: Lips Malone don’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.
[US](con. 1949) J. Hurling Boomers 222: Green as grass [...] Didn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.
[US]A. Maupin More Tales of the City (1984) 145: He’s a fucked-up junkie, man. Don’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 157: When it comes right down to the button [he] don’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.
[US] (ref. to c.1930) Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore II 740: A little boy [...], about 1930, went to school for the first time at the age of six. One of the older boys greeted him with ‘You don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground.’.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 144: not know your arse from a hole in a flowerpot/a hole in the ground/your elbow Confused or naive or plain dumb.
[US] N. Flexner Disassembled Man [ebook] I was so plastered I couldn’t have told my ass from a hole in my story.
[US]B.R. Cooper Reluctant General 21: He laughed and said, ‘Boy, you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground’.
not know one’s arse/ass from one’s elbow (v.) (also not know from one’s arse to one’s elbow, not know whether one is on one’s arse or one’s elbow)

to be ignorant, to be stupid.

[US]J. Klempner No Stork at Nine 165: He studies and studies and reads and learns, and he still doesn’t know his ass from his elbow.
[US]F. Swados House of Fury (1959) 117: Oh, Bonnie, you don’t know your ass from your elbow.
[UK]D. Davin For the Rest of Our Lives 329: They’re all to hell out there, sir. Don’t know whether they’re on their arse or their elbow.
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 12: He was a nice old guy that didn’t know his ass from his elbow.
[UK]P. Larkin letter 16 Dec. in Thwaite Sel. Letters (1992) 296: Spender sounds as if he didn’t know his arse from his elbow.
[US]M. Richler Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1964) 195: They’re kids [...] and if you’ll pardon me they don’t know from their ass to their elbow. [Ibid.] 252: Mr Hershorn doesn’t know his ass from his elbow.
[US]R. Price Blood Brothers 33: Don’t ever fuck around with a Irish woman [...] They don’t know their ass from their elbow in bed.
[UK]J. Healy Grass Arena (1990) 161: The hospital screws gave him the liquid cosh – filled him so full of Largactil he doesn’t know his arse from his elbow.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 26 July 52: I was only 16, just out of school, didn’t know my arse from my elbow.
[US](con. 1975–6) E. Little Steel Toes 164: More likely you’re a cocky kid don’t know his ass from his elbow.
[NZ]P. Shannon Davey Darling 43: You lay a bloody finger on me and I’ll have an assault charge on you so fast you won’t know your arse from your elbow.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 49: He doesn’t know his elbow from his ass.

General phrases

arse-firking (adj.)

sodomising,thus homosexual.

[UK]J. Phillips Maronides (1678) V 95: He was Ascanius Padagouge / A most austere, ars-firking dog.
be one’s arse (also be one’s ass) [i.e. one’s sense 1/ass n. (2) will get ‘kicked’]

(orig. US) a phr. meaning that one will be in trouble, that an action will lead to inevitable punishment, e.g. Do that and it’s your ass.

[US] ‘Good-Doing Wheeler’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 76: When the trick raised his glass, that was his ass, / As he slid to his knees from the bar.
[US](con. 1950) E. Frankel Band of Brothers 47: If this keeps up, it’s gonna be your ass.
[US]G.L. Coon Meanwhile, Back at the Front (1962) 254: New York is screaming for a wrap-up. It’ll be my ass if I don’t get it in.
[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 30: Don’t you think he knows it’s his ass if it don’t go down.
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 149: Keep a leash on him. He bites somebody, it’s your ass!
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 52: I don’t want one word of this shit bein’ spread through the department or it’s your ass.
[US](con. 1975–6) E. Little Steel Toes 20: Joe Moppa [...] finally says, ‘It’s your ass, pal. Gimme a couple of days.’.
mine arse on a bandbox (also my arse on a bandbox, ...in a bandbox) [SE bandbox, a light cardboard box used to contain millinery etc, which would not make a stable seat]

a phr. used when something offered is inadequate for the purposes required, meaning ‘that won’t do’.

[UK]T. Brown Letters from the Dead to the Living in Works (1760) II 11: That’s mine a— in a bandbox.
[UK]Fielding Life of Jonathan Wild (1784) IV 292: ‘My ---- in a bandbox,’ answered Fireblood.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Bandbox, that is mine a—se on a bandbox, an answer to the offer of any thing inadequate to the purpose for which it is proffered, like offering a bandbox for a seat.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Nov. III 93/1: ‘Mine a—se in a ban-box’ (replied the Duke, in the language of a jockey). ‘I thought so,’ says Henley, ‘you make so sh—tten a figure.’.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 4: ‘Tis all my a— in a band-box,’ when asinine stories are hatched up.
my arse is a red cabbage

(N.Z.) a dismissive phr.

[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 139: my arse is a red cabbage Reassuring phrase, eg, ‘If that is not true, my arse is a red cabbage.’.
my arse is dragging

(orig. US) I am totally exhausted.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 771: since ca. 1915.
[UK]D. Belloc trans. W. Rodamor Slow Death in Paris 54: My arse is dragging. The Aquarelle, rue de Buci, rue Saint-Andre-des- Arts: no Fat Dani, no Scarface.
N. Armitage ‘Archive’ 13 July on Transmuted.net [Internet] I’m guessing I should drag myself to work soon. Or at least to the shower beforehand. Don’t wanna go, my arse is dragging pretty badly, but I kinda have to.
neither one’s arse nor one’s elbow

neither one thing nor another.

[Ire]Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 279: Neither my arse nor my elbow! Temple cried out scornfully.
[UK]R. Palmer Folklore of Warwicks. 59: ‘Neither my arse nor my elbow’ means neither here nor there.
[Ire]D. Mac Amhlaigh Schnitzer O’Shea 93: Stuff and rubbish, Patrick - that's neither my arse nor my elbow!
[Ire]Share Slanguage.
not a sixpence to scratch one’s arse with

absolutely impoverished.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 805: mid-C.19–20.
J. Manning Taming the Duke [Internet] ‘I’ll be forced to tell Rollins that you’ll marry as soon as a special license can be obtained.’ ‘You’re bluffing!’ She bit back a laugh. ‘Rollins hasn’t a sixpence to scratch with.’.
see (someone’s) arse for dust

a phr. used to describe a speedy departure.

[[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Aug. 24/2: I stopped, of course, and began an elaborate apology, but directly the injured gentleman caught sight of my face he turned and fled – I couldn’t see his heels for dust.
[UK]in George & Macaulay All in a Maze (1938) 413: Though we obeyed the Higher Law, / And though we have our quarrel just, / Were I permitted to withdraw / You wouldn’t see my arse for dust.
[UK]H. Freeman Andrew to the Lions 291: You won’t see my arse for dust then.
[UK]G. Kersh Song of the Flea 152: I’ll scram out of it so fast you won’t see my arse for dust.
[UK]J.L. Hodson Return to the Wood 31: I can see him now bound for Echelon B— you couldn’t see his arse for dust.
[Aus]D. Maitland Breaking Out 279: After which I sincerely hope that, as with the Oogle Bird, you will not see my arse for dust.
[UK]Y. Brewster Black Plays 107: Didn’t see his arse for dust once they arrived.
at rivals.net 17 Jan. [Internet] [He is] hated everywhere, simply because he loves to ‘kick it off’ then you can’t see his arse for dust when the fists start flying.
‘A Weekend with Agnes’ at www.trampled.org [Internet] She’s had a few prospective slaves visit her, but they didn’t last long. A few hours with Agnes and they’re gone. You can’t see their arse for dust.
what the arse...? (also where the arse...? why the arse...?)

(UK black) intensified form of what the hell...? phr. and vars.; also as an excl.

[UK]S. Selvon Lonely Londoners 142: Why the arse London Transport can’t run bus and tube all night.
[UK]S. Selvon Ways of Sunlight 178: What the arse happen to you this morning?
[WI]S. Selvon Moses Ascending (1984) 29: ‘Brenda,’ I yell, ‘what the arse happening down there?’.
[WI]A. Clarke Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack 33: Where the arse wunnuh think wunnuh going?
[WI]Shango Baku ‘One Bad Casa’ in Three Plays I i: What de arse?

Verbs with one’s/someone’s

In phrases

catch one’s arse

(W.I.) to find it hard to make enough money to live.

[UK]S. Selvon Lonely Londoners 8: They coming to me as if I is some liaison officer, and I catching my arse as it is, how I could help them out?
[UK]S. Selvon Housing Lark 48: If it wasn’t for this dilapidated sleeper, Gallows would of catch his royal arse, because he didn’t have no work.
[WI]S. Selvon Moses Ascending 2: If you are a tenant, you catch your arse forever.
do one’s arse [sense 4 above]

(Aus.) to bet heavily and unsuccessfully; to lose all one’s money.

[Aus]R.G. Barrett Real Thing 81: Price done his arse at the punt today.
[Aus]Smith & Noble Neddy (1998) 130: Neville introduced us and we sat discussing racing. Rex told me that he had done his cash at the Saturday meeting – ‘he did his arse’ as he put it.
get one’s arse in one’s hand (v.)

to get into an emotional state, to make a fuss.

J. Phillips in Guardian 11 Feb. [Internet] [I] used to do this massive thing every year, where I’d get my arse in my hand about how it’s difficult to register women in a refuge to vote.
give one’s arse a chance

a comment aimed at a talkative person; usu. prefaced by Why don’t you shut up and...

[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: give your arse a chance. Shut your mouth, stop talking.
[UK]J. Orton Entertaining Mr Sloane Act I: Why don’t you shut your mouth and give your arse a chance?
[UK]D. Powis Signs of Crime 186: Give your arse/ears a chance Stop talking and listen (a terse command), or sometimes a form of complaining comment about an over-talkative person. ‘Why doesn’t he give his arse a chance?’ i.e., ‘Why doesn’t he shut up?’.
give someone the arse (also give something the arse) [? turning one’s back, and thus one’s buttocks, to someone]

(Aus.) to treat with contempt, to reject or dismiss; occas. of a thing.

[Aus]‘No. 35’ Argot in G. Simes DAUS (1993).
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 37: That’s what you’ve come back to, to see us given the arse.
[Aus]P. Kenna Furtive Love (1980) 12: Send word through the poofter network: Give him the arse, darlings. Give him the arse [DAUS].
[Aus]J. Dingwall Sun. Too Far Away 15: He wrote to me just when I’d decided to give the fish market the arse.
[Aus]P. Temple Black Tide (2012) [ebook] He was a copper. That didn’t last. Reckons he resigned. I reckon they give him the arse.
[Aus]P. Cleary Cleary Indep. 206: It was a far cry from the terse, ‘Give him the arse, he’s a shithead’ she’d delivered when Vicki arrived on Mrs Cole’s doorstep seeking refuge from Keogh two year’s earlier.
hand someone (their) arse (v.)

to treat with contempt, to reject or dismiss.

https://disqus.com/...mwptv_the_real_housewives_of_atlanta_season_7_episode_21 [Internet] Cynthia has no idea how to be an adult anymore. After Nene handed her her arse on national TV its been straight juvenile antics from her.
Twitter 20 Dec. [Internet] Gruesomely opportunistic ambulance chaser handed arse by man who knows what he’s talking about.
have one’s nose up someone’s arse

see under nose n.

kick someone’s arse (also kick the arse out of)

to thrash; to surpass, to defeat comprehensively.

[[UK]N. Ward ‘The Revels of the Gods’ in Writings (1704) 107: Which makes us, if Anger’d, in Mem’ry of Mars, / To our Enemy cry, that we’ll kick them o’th’ Arse].
[UK]‘Conny Keyber’ Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews 13: You are a d—d, impertinent, stinking, cursed, confounded Jade, and I have great mind to kick your A—. You, kiss— says I. A-gad says he, and so I will; with that he caught me in his Arms, and kissed me till he made my Face all over Fire.
[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 4 Mar. 3/4: We do not believe the rumour that Archy Little lent the informer £12 — if we can find any truth in the rumour, we shall send the lad to kick his —.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 178: I’ve got a good mind to kick your arse.
[UK]C. Newland Scholar 103: Sean my brother, we got our arses kicked man. Five one, at full time.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 265: Somebody’s kicked Niddrie’s erse.
[Ire]P. Howard Teenage Dirtbag Years 14: Kicked Sorcha’s orse in an irish debate.
kiss someone’s arse

see separate entry.

knock someone’s arse in

(N.Z.) to defeat in an argument or a fight.

[UK](con. 1940s) I. Agnew Loner 134: That knocked Crawford’s arse in. He was on the point of blowing a gasket, but was forced to make like Noddy. [Ibid.] 137: Most of the blokes here make out they’re looking forward to knocking Jerries’ arses in.
lend one’s arse and shit through one’s ribs (v.)

used to describe a generous lender of money .

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: He will lend his A—se & Shite through his Ribs. Saying of a man who will distress himself to aid (?) his neighbour.
lose one’s arse

1. to lose a good deal of money, usu. through gambling.

[UK]Nicker Nicked in Harleian Misc. II (1809) 109: A gentleman, whom ill fortune had hurried into a passion, took a box and dice to a side-table, and there fell to throwing by himself; at length swears with an emphasis, – ‘Damme, now I throw for nothing, I can win a thousand pounds; but when I play for money, I lose my a--e’.

2. to be careless; usu. in phr. they’d lose their arse if it were loose.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: He would Losed his A—e if it were loose.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn) n.p.: He would lose his a–e if it was loose; said of a careless person.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
polish one’s arse on the top sheet

of a man, to have sexual intercourse (in the ‘missionary’ position).

[US]Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 199: One may have to resort to the Portuguese pump willy’nilly, no matter how much one would wish to polish one’s arse on the top sheet.
put someone on the arse

(Aus. Und.) to attack someone verbally.

[UK]C. Rohan Down by the Dockside 128: Phyl was dancing with one of Yvonne’s Yankees. ‘I’ll put that bitch on her arse,’ Yvonne told me.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Apr. 44: When I got buckled they asked for two spot for the no-bake, but I put ’em on the arse bit for being big askers.
shut one’s arse/ass (up)

to be quiet; esp. in imper. shut your arse!

[UK](con. WWII) B. Aldiss Soldier Erect 51: I’ll fling you in the fucking ditch [...] if you don’t shut your arse!
[UK]J. Bradner Danny Boy 101: Look, Walter, we been putting up wid you bullshit too long! If you can’t talk proper – shut your ass!
Galveston Dly News (TX) 10 Feb. 2A/3: ‘Nigger, I done told you to shut your ass up’.
[UK]I. Welsh Trainspotting 20: You shut yir fuckin mouth! [...] Just shit yir fuckin erse!
[UK]Guardian Rev. 17 July 4: Shut your bitch ass, bitch.
[US]Valley Morn. Star (Harlingen, TX) 13 June 16/4: ‘Shut your ass up [...] zip it!’.

General verbs

— the arse/ass off (also — the tail off)

a general intensifier implying energy, usu. sexual, e.g. screw the arse off under screw v.

[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Ridge and River (1966) 189: A boong was carrying a pack on the way out, and he walked the tails off us, the old bludger!
[UK]G.M. Williams Growing Up in the West (2003) 414: For a while it had been enough just to know he was banging the arse off a toff’s daughter .
[US]G.V. Higgins Rat on Fire (1982) 43: Then you depreciate the ass off it [...] and you sell the fuckin’ thing to somebody else.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 35: What does she mean by rooting the arse off your best mate.
[UK]A. Close Official and Doubtful 182: Gets paid to bore the arse off folks about politics.
[Ire]P. McCabe Breakfast on Pluto 16: They’d been calling down to Rat Trap Mansions, annoying the arse off Whiskers asking her could I come out to play cowboys and war.
[UK]Guardian Guide 22–28 Apr. 28: It turns people into snobs, fiddling with pieces of paper and boring the arse off everyone.
die in the arse

1. (Aus.) to be struck rigid, motionless, usu. through terror.

[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 58: Sammy looks at Danny. He’s shaking. He’s died in the arse, Sammy tells himself, and moves on.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 124: Lastly, it is always possible for someone or something to die in the arse.

2. (Aus.) of a vehicle, to break down.

[Aus]C. Bowles G’DAY 9: They hop in Macka's car but they're not even out of the car park when it dies in the arse.
hang an arse (also hang on arse)

1. to hang back, to be afraid to go forwards.

[UK]Marston ‘Ad Rythmum’ Satyres II E1: But if you hang an arse like Tubered / When Chremes dragg’d him from his brothell bed, / Thence hence base ballad stuffe.
[UK]J. Day Blind Beggar of Bednall-Green Act V: Father wherefore do you hang an arse so?
[UK]Jonson Gypsies Metamorphosed 32: pup.: Peace, who’s this Long Meg? town.: Long and foule Meg, if shee be a Meg as euer I saw of her inches praye God they fitt her with a fair fortune shee hangs an arse terriblie.
[UK]Fletcher Spanish Curate II i: The Dead do’s well at all times, Yet Gouts will hang an arse a long time.
[UK]Webster Devil’s Law-Case V iv: The Welshman in’s play, do what the Fencer could, Hung still an arse; he could not for’s life Make him come on brauely.
[UK]Massinger Guardian V iv: To the Offering, nay, No hanging an arse, this is their wedding day.
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 128: She would have clasped me in her Arms; but I hung an arse, being sensible of the stinking condition that the fear had put me in.
[UK]C. Cotton Scoffer Scoff’d (1765) 154: Nay, never hang an Arse for th’ Matter, / It is in vain to cog and flatter.
[UK]J. Wilson Belphegor V iii: A more cowardly rogue I never saw. He hung on arse more than a bear going to a stake.
[UK]Humours of a Coffee-House 19 Dec. 75: Matters and Things of that Nature move but heavily; some People hang an Arse plaguily.
[UK]Laugh and Be Fat 138: This Son of Mars, / Ne’r hung an Arse, / Or turn’d his Tail.
[UK]Smollett Roderick Random (1979) 187: I might with truth assert, if I durst use such a vulgar idiom, that the nation did hang an a--e at its disappointment.
[UK]Bridges Homer Travestie (1764) I 138: Who fight, as if inspir’d by Mars, / Or who, like Dutchmen, hang an a--se.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 29: The ticket-porters look’d so so, / And hung an a--se, but forc’d to go.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) I 41: They hung an arse, what could they do? / They’d rather not, but yet must go.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.

2. to have large buttocks.

[UK]Jonson Masque of the Gipsies in Q. Horatius Flaccus (1640) 74: pup.: Peace, who’s this Long Meg? town.: Long and foule Meg, if she be a Meg, as ever I saw of her Inches: Pray God they fit her with a fair Fortune, shee hangs an Arse terribly.
make an arse of

(Aus.) to make something or someone look ridiculous.

[Aus]L. Haylen Big Red 170: ‘Marquis of Queensbury rules, sir,’ he said to the jackeroo. ‘The best of twelve rounds.’ ‘Oh, come off it,’ said the jackeroo. ‘You’re making a bloody arse of it. This is a bare knuckle fight.’.
[Aus]Penguin Bk of All-New Aus. Jokes 137: You made a complete arse of yourself.
[SA]Sowetan Live 15 Mar. [Internet] The policer should effectively deal with local and foreign criminals without making arse of our consitution.
play the arse

(W.I.) to play the fool, to trick.

[WI]E. Lovelace Schoolmaster 191: Look, boy, don’t play the arse, you hear .
[WI]E. Lovelace Schoolmaster (1979) 146: Look boy, don’t play the arse, you hear.
[WI]E. Lovelace Dragon Can’t Dance (1998) 224: What did they want him to do? End up like his father singing and playing the arse on Local Talent on Parade?
take it up the arse (also get it up the arse, take it, take it in the arse, ...in the ass, take it up the arsehole, ...up the ass, ...up the bum)(orig. US)

1. to submit to anal intercourse, also used as an expression of contempt.

[US]Burgess Papers in K. White First Sexual Revolution (1993) 95: Some of them you cannot tell from a woman [...] They take it in the ass, French you, like to be called girls names.
[US]G. Legman ‘Lang. of Homosexuality’ Appendix VII in Henry Sex Variants.
[US]‘Swasarnt Nerf’ et al. Gay Girl’s Guide 29: For the passive partner to be able to ‘take it’, the prime prerequisite is the ability to relax at will.
[UK]J. Orton Diaries (1986) 8 May 159: I simply must take it up the arse tonight.
[Aus](con. 1940s–60s) Hogbotel & ffuckes ‘I Don’t Want to Join the Army’ in Snatches and Lays 36: I don’t want to take it up the arsehole.
[US]Maledicta 1 (Summer) 16: The disliked person is accused of being a fag (or Three-Letter Man) [...] He has taken it in his head to make a living, or takes it up the ass so deep his ears light up.
[US]J. Krantz Scruples 145: ‘How do you like it?’ he asked Sergio. ‘Up the ass.’.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 35: She would love to take it in the ass.
[US]Maledicta III:2 233: Still more words of this fucking vocabulary are [...] take it (up the ass).
[UK](con. 1960) P. Theroux My Secret Hist. (1990) 175: And you take it up the ass.
[UK]J. Healy Streets Above Us (1991) 21: Which actor takes no salt; and which one takes it up the bum.
[UK]D. Jarman letter 12 Mar. Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 94: Pat told the confused gang from Leningrad that all the British aristocracy [...] take it up the arse; sodomy is an old British custom.
[UK]S. Kelman Pigeon English 98: They just want to take you away in a van and shag you up the arse, innit.
[UK]D. O’Donnell Locked Ward (2013) 281: Gang of homos [...] watching some other guy getting it up the arse.
[UK]J. Fagan Panopticon (2013) 25: Old likes-it-up-the-arse [...] dinna tel anyone.
[US]S. King Finders Keepers (2016) 109: He was ass-raped by Allgood on some mights and mouth-raped on other [...] He preferred taking it up the ass.

2. to be victimized, treated unfairly or harshly.

[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 85: Being joes who take it up the arse from the City cartels anyway, they’ll go along with the swindle.
[Aus]L. Redhead Peepshow [ebook] I’m not going to lie down and take it up the arse from these cocksuckers any longer.
[Aus]J.J. DeCeglie Drawing Dead [ebook] Jacky takes it in the ass doo-da, doo-da.

In exclamations

devil me arse!

(Anglo-Irish) a general excl.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 302/2: C.20.
dry your arse!

(Irish) stop whining! stop complaining!

[Ire]G. Coughlan Everyday Eng. and Sl. [Internet] Dry your arse (phr): Shut up and stop acting like a child.
[Ire]D.B. Frank Isle of Palms 31: Like me dear old granny from Waterford was fond to say, you need to dry your arse.
[Ire]S. Leigh Crow of Connemara [ebook] Go and dry your arse, Niall, until yeh know what yer jabberin’ about.
me arse and Katty Barry! [Katty Barry was the keeper of a shebeen, an illicit ale house, in Dublin in 1930s]

(Irish) an excl. of disbelief.

[Ire]G. Coughlan Everyday Eng. and Sl. [Internet] Me arse and Katty Barry! (phr): yeah sure!
my arse! (also mine arse! my ass!)

a general excl. of disdain, dismissal, arrogant contempt, e.g. Are you frightened? Frightened, my arse!; latterly often implying disbelief of the previous statement; often modified with an adj., e.g. my hairy arse!

[[UK]Jonson Poetaster IV vii: ‘They say, he’s valiant’. ‘Valiant? so is mine arse’].
[UK]Character of a Town-Gallant in C. Hindley Old Bk Collector’s Misc. 10: He is [...] A Baboon usurping Human Shape; or (to use his own silly nasty Phrase) Mine A-se all over.
[UK]C. Johnson Hist. of Highwaymen &c. 62: Quaeso, quaeso, my Arse, answered the Footman.
[UK]Fielding Tom Jones (1959) 506: ‘You frighten the young lady so, that you deprive her of all power of uttrance.’ ‘Power of mine a—’ answered the squire.
[UK]Navy at Home I 151: ‘As you can’t converse like a gentleman, I shall find a time and place to talk to you in another strain.’ — ‘Strain, my a — e, let’s drop it’.
[UK](con. WWI) F. Richards Old Soldiers Never Die (1964) 168: ‘We’ll have to surrender!’ [...] ‘Surrender my bloody arse!’ shouted Hammer Lane.
[Ire](con. 1890s) S. O’Casey Pictures in the Hallway 175: Good God, didn’t the time go slow! Tempus Fugit me arse!
[US] in G. Legman Rationale of the Dirty Joke (1972) I 303: Wee-wee my ass! Where the hell is the nearest whore-house!
[US]L. Brown Iron City 40: Alimony, my ass!
[UK]M.F. Caulfield Black City 229: ‘The lawful government of Ireland,’ he boomed out, laughing loudly. ‘My bloody arse!’.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Sat. Night and Sun. Morning 68: Royal flush, my arse!
[UK]J. Orton Entertaining Mr Sloane Act II: Weak heart, my arse. You murdered him.
[UK]F. Pollini Glover 14: Take a look — my sweet ass!
[WI]S. Naipaul Fireflies 82: Nerves my arse.
[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 167: ‘Rams, my ass!’ said Earl, getting up . . . ‘They oughta call ’em Lambs’.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Yesterday Never Comes’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] Sun, my arse, you’ve given it to that tart ain’t yer?
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 199: My ass, it’s a possibility.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 138: Clean, my ass [...] I’ve been having yeast infections ever since I come to work here.
[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] ‘That’s the way we work things in here, share and share alike, help each other, all pull together.’ My arse, it is.
[UK]C. Newland Scholar 209: ‘He’s jus’ a friend dat’s all, he’s concerned.’ [...] ‘Concerned my arse.’.
[Aus]P. Temple Dead Point (2008) [ebook] ‘Was it not ever thus?’ ‘Ever thus, my arse’.
[US]P. Cornwell Last Precinct 233: ‘Suspect my ass.’ Marino scowls.
[UK]H. Mantel Beyond Black 215: My sceptred arse.
[UK]G. Malkani Londonstani (2007) 162: Yeah, right, my big brown ass.
[UK]S. Kelman Pigeon English 63: Brayden Campbell: ‘Bullshit. I could do it one-handed.’ Me and Dean: ’My arse’.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 134: Upset my hairy ersehole. It’s this shite that upsets me.
[Aus] A. Savage ‘Killing Peacocks’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] Kangaroo, my arse. Trevor had to be behind it.
[UK]Guardian 23 May [Internet] Posters bearing the words ‘Strong and Stable My Arse’ spotted across London [...] are the work of the artist Jeremy Deller.
N. McCoy ‘Take a Knee, My Ass’ [lyrics] I speak for those whose freedom was not free / And I say / Take a knee / My ass.
my arse to...! (also my arse for/on/upon...! my ass...!)

a general excl. of contempt or dismissal.

[UK]Proceedings Old Bailey 27–8 Aug. 1: He replied, then you are Rogues: Upon which one Jenkins, somewhat scurrilously, return’d a foolish ill-bred Phrase, Mine Ar-- upon you.
[UK]N. Ward London Spy XIII 326: A Perjur’d V— who Adores an Ass; / Which since he does, mine A—s upon the Doctor.
[UK]T. Brown Letters from the Dead to the Living in Works (1760) II 187: My lord Rochester’s songs are mine arse to it.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy V 284: Here’s a Health to the Tackers, my Boys, / But mine A[r]se for the Tackers about.
[US](con. 1900s–10s) Dos Passos 42nd Parallel in USA (1966) 93: My ass to habeas corpus.
[Ire](con. 1945) S. McAughtry Touch and Go 98: Peelers and B men do all night out on the beat. My arse on that for a way to put the time in.
shove it up your arse!

see separate entry.

your arse! (also your ass!)

a dismissive excl. meaning, ‘I don’t believe you’; often modified with an adj. e.g. your black arse!

[US]H. Roth Call It Sleep (1977) 353: ‘Ged oud f’om my cella’ – faw I call my modder. Ged oud!’ ‘Yuh mudder’s ass! Call ’er, I dare ye!’.
[UK]‘George Orwell’ Clergyman’s Daughter (1986) 125: Nobby answered as blithely as ever, ‘Consideration, your a---!’.
[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 50: ‘Carter, steal my wife, but don’t —’ ‘Don’t, your hairy ass. You don’t make a Wengel out of me, boy.’.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Peacock Valhalla 138: ‘Your ass!’ Pappy howled.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 5: Pretty soon maybe you be drinking it again. Your ass I will.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 168: Magic your black ass.
[US]E. Tidyman Shaft 122: ‘Three vodka and tonics, my good man’ [...] ‘Your ass,’ said Shaft.
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 234: Enema your ass!
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 57: Your ass, Buddy. I’m back in Chi!
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 47: ‘Ah yer arse,’ I said colloquially; ‘don’t believe everything you read.’.
[US](con. 1968) D.A. Dye Citadel (1989) 66: Yer dyin’ ass.
[UK]N. Griffiths Sheepshagger 98: — Fuck off. Jealous. — Of yew? Yewer arse.