Green’s Dictionary of Slang

arse v.

[arse n.]

1. to reverse a vehicle.

[UK]J. Gosling Ghost Squad 139: One of the blokes said ‘Arse her [a lorry] up here,’ I backed her up against one of the Railway arches.

2. to push, to shove.

[Ire](con. 1920s) P. Crosbie Your Dinner’s Poured Out! 219: He arsed his way through the crowd.

3. to drink, to consume.

[UK]I. Welsh Trainspotting 44: Stevie bought a bottle of Bells at the station and had arsed the lot by the time the train rolled into Waverley.

4. (Aus.) to dismiss.

[Aus]Bug (Aus.) 14 May [Internet] The scandal [...] of the bastard bed-wetting wowsers of the ARL arsing young Gower from the Australian side for the triffling offence of flashing his not-so-old fellow in a Sydney bayside pub.

In phrases

arse about (v.) (also arse around)

1. to waste time, to idly wander about.

[UK]C. Cotton Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk I 9: Then (at his Ease) Arsing about.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 307: Arsing around from one pub to another.
[Aus]N. Lindsay Age Of Consent 126: Have to get out of here [...] Man goes clean off his crumpet, arsing about a bally lonely hole like this all day with nothing to do.
[UK]P. Larkin letter 10 Nov. in Thwaite Sel. Letters (1992) 25: I remember with envy the evenings we used to have about a year ago: certain percentage of creative arsing-about.
[UK]‘Nevil Shute’ Pastoral 22: Up in London you arse around and go to the local and meet the boys.
[UK]N. Streatfeild Grass in Piccadilly 148: Mrs. Dill would understand. She would never arse about yattering all over the place.
[Aus]J. Cleary Sundowners 124: Christ, the way we’re arsing about —.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 191: This arsing around the chapel is as good [...] as a trip to Switzerland.
[Ire]B. Behan Brendan Behan’s Island (1984) 18: A generation or so ago they were arsing around the bog, and a bowl of stirabout and a couple of platefuls of spuds would have cured all the Angst from here back to Norway.
[Ire](con. 1930s) S. McAughtry Sinking of the Kenbane Head 61: You should be in a good job instead of arsing around here.
[Aus]B. Moore Lex. of Cadet Lang. 14: arse around to idle, to loaf around desultorily, to be in a state of dolce far niente, to be in a condition wherein one needs to get one’s arse in gear.
[Aus]S. Maloney Big Ask 97: Darren’s up on the roof, arsing around.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 8: Fuck all that arsing about with flour an butter an milk, life’s too short.

2. to turn round.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Arse about. Turn round.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.

3. to fool around.

[UK] (ref. to 1930) E. Williams Emlyn 175: He and his buddy started to dance together, arsing around, you know ...No, in the buff, except for socks and shoes, hats on the back of their heads.
[UK]J. McClure Spike Island (1981) 130: ‘Arson, was it?’ ‘Arsin’ about more like!’.
[UK]M. Read Scouting for Boys in Best Radio Plays (1984) 192: Will you stop arsing around and listen!
[Ire]P. McCabe Breakfast on Pluto 53: The cut of the cunt — arsing about my television with a head on him like Barney Gillis’s cockerel!
[Aus]T. Winton Turning (2005) 151: The kids arse about on escalators in department stores.
arse it (v.) (also ass it)

to leave, to exit.

[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 16: We caught a glimpse of her cannon assing it down the alley.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 80: En wir in-a car an fuckin arsin it awey.
arse off (v.)

to leave quickly.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 27/1: C.19–20.
[UK]M. Quinion World Wide Words 27 Mar. [Internet] It may have been formed after the model of several other similar military expressions. An older one is arsed off, from arse off, a low slang term from the later part of the nineteenth century that meant ‘to leave quickly.’.