piece of ass

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piece of ass

Post by Archived Topic » Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:01 am

I search the wordwizard for both terms ------ answer was zero.

I understand that 'Piece of ass' means to get -- 'laid'; this is mainly with a man and a woman, the man getting credit for getting a 'piece of ass' or getting laid. But, what credit does the woman get?

Where or how did the term 'piece of ass' begin? How about 'getting laid'? Was it just the man side of things?
Submitted by Alice Sundial (Palmer, Ma - U.S.A.)
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piece of ass

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:15 am

Alice, PIECE OF ASS first appeared in 1918 in an unpublished work, and then in print in 1942, which is all relatively recently. Chances are it was around in speech for most of the first half of the 20th century, but according to The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, there was some reluctance, especially in the U.S., to put the word ‘ass’ into print. In the following I’ll try to trace the expression’s family history.
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PIECE for ‘a woman,’ especially in a sexual sense, applied humorously or contemptuously, has been in use since the early 14th century when it was standard English. Over the years there have been many such expressions, referring to women, containing ‘piece’ including ‘piece of flesh’ (1593), ‘piece of goods (1809),’ ‘piece of calico [i.e. a skirt] (by 1880), ‘piece of muslin,’ ‘piece of mutton,’ ‘piece of work’ (often used sarcastically of men as well as women),‘piece of tail (~1920)’, ‘piece or hunk of skirt, ass or butt’ (1942), and ‘have (or tear off) a piece’).

In Grose’s A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785), with editorial comment by Eric Partridge, he defined PIECE: “A wench. A damned good or bad piece; a girl who is more or less active and skillful in the amorous congress. [This word in circa 19th-20th century is less derogatory and was a favourite with the soldiers in 1914-1918 for a sweetheart or the girl with whom one walked out].”

Cambridge wits of the period also punned on the term when delivering the toast, “May we never have a ‘piece’ (peace) that will injure the constitution.”— in Lexicon Balatronicum (1811) by Anonymous (A member of the Whip Club.). To which Rawson of Wicked Words suggested the response should have been “And may it be a piece (peace) with honor.” The sense of ‘piece’ today is generally ‘a sexually attractive women,’ though the term is considered sexist by many. HUNK is the male counterpart, which is a relatively recent term dating back to only 1940.
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The word ASS/ARSE did not ‘officially’ mean buttocks until the 18th century, which I found kind of surprising. Almost all (but not all) earlier references, however, were actually to the donkey or its supposed attributes (slowness, stupidity, or clumsiness). However, there is some earlier evidence that although its use was not that common, a wider understanding of its meaning in the anatomical as well as the donkey sense was not unknown. In Hamlet (1601), for example, the Dane exclaims not only “Why what an ass [[donkey]] am I,” but also “Then came each actor on his ass [[donkey or butt?]], and one begins to suspect a pun when he follows the last quote” by “Buzz, buzz,” which Eric Partridge points out in his book ‘Shakespeare’s Bawdy’ was the bard’s way of rendering what later became known to bad actors as the ‘raspberry.’

Reinforcing the argument for an Elizabethan understanding of the word in both senses is the weaver in A midsummer’s Night’s Dream (1595) who is transformed into an ass/donkey and who Shakespeare named ‘Nick Bottom.’ There are also occasional examples of its use for a women’s posterior starting in the late 17th century. Another piece of evidence for knowledge of the double meaning is that farmers at the end of the 18th century began calling their asses the brand-new proto-Victorian word ‘donkey’(1785), which in all likelihood was invented because of the double meaning that ‘ass’ had acquired. Also, as Grose explains in his 1785 A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue when defining JOHNNY BUM: “A he or jack ass; so called by a lady that affected to be extremely polite and modest, who would not say . . . ASS because it was indecent.”

A later unambiguous reference to the buttocks as ‘arse’ was in the expression ‘arse of a block’ (1721), a term sailors used to describe that groove in a pulley or block which holds and guides the rope. The pre-Victorian taboo (reluctance) to use a word that had previously been perfectly acceptable for some 700 years is fairly clear evidence that the word had taken on a second ‘donkeyless’ meaning. For example, in 1787 the innocent water pepper, ‘Polygonum hydropiper,’ once commonly known as ‘arsemart’ or ‘ass smart,’ first appears as ‘smart weed’ and the otherwise uninhibited Captain Grose (of above-mentioned dictionary fame) started printing dashes between the ‘a’ and the ‘e’ of ‘arse.’

In any case, ARSE was not often printed in full in Great Britain until well into the 20th century. The first ‘official’ (according to several sources, although as far as I could determine it had appeared ‘unofficially many, many times before that!) appearance of ‘arse’ as buttocks with the Americanized r-less ‘ass’ was again in the above-mentioned pulley/block thingy called the ‘ass of a block’ (1860).

Thus, we see that the use of ASS to describe a women’s back end, and later front end, dates back to the late 17th century. It followed a tortuous and sometimes halting path up through the beginning of the 20th century when it gained full recognition and blossomed into its full glory – and took on the additional meaning of the sexual act, or a person regarded as a sex partner and became a synonym for what would become affectionately or contemptuously known as ‘a piece of ass.’
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The grand unification of PIECE and ASS into PIECE OF ASS (affectionately known to this physicist as GUPA!) which is actually a redundancy since ‘piece’ had long since meant what ‘ass’ had come to mean, finally happened sometime during WW I with the first example appearing around 1918 (see quote below). This expression follows in the footsteps of a long tradition of ‘pieces of’ dating back to the 16th century’s ‘piece of flesh’ (mostly replacing them), and today ‘piece of ass’ is the leader of that pack with ‘piece of tail,’ etc. trailing behind. (<:)
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So, I think I’ve answered your question as to where the expression ‘piece of ass’ came from and that the man, as you put it, gets ‘credit’ for getting a ‘piece of ass.’ Incidentally there is a whole nother meaning to ‘piece of ass’ in terms of anal sex, both heterosexual and homosexual. In the homosexual connotation ‘a piece of ass’ is a male homosexual who is the object of anal copulation. In the heterosexual connotation ‘a piece of ass’ reflects a literal connection to the said feature as in “I’ve always felt that the quickest way to a women’s heart is up her ass.”—‘Hokey’ (1968) by Stahl, page 104. And, as seen in the Mailer quote below, in the 20th century ‘a piece of ass’ occasionally rears its head as heterosexual copulation with the said male being the ‘piece.’ So in answer to your question women can get ‘credit’ for ‘a piece of ass’ as well as ‘a hunk.’ And as to ‘getting laid,’ that is a whole topic in itself, which will be discussed in a subsequent treatise. (<:)
<1593 “Oh, she is a tall PEECE OF FLESH.”--in ‘Tell-Troth's New York Gift’ (1876), page 30>

<ca 1684 “And yet I’m informed here’s many a lass / Come for to ease the itching of her ARSE.”--‘Unfit for Modest Ears’ by R. Thompson, page 127>

<1721 “ (among sailors) the ARSE of a Block or Pulley, through which any Rope runs, is the lower end of it.”--‘Arse’ by Bailey>

<1731 “I have had a cl-p / by a sad Mishap / . . . G-d D–m her A—E / That fired my T-rse [i.e. ‘tarse,’ penis].”--‘Merry-Thought’ by H. Thrumbo, III, page 14>

<1809 “She seemed a pretty PIECE OF GOODS enough.”--‘Gil Blas’ by Malkin, I. ii. page 6>

<1860 “The ASS of the block is known by the scoring being deeper in that part to receive the splice.”--‘Seaman's Catechism’ by H. Stuart, page 37>

<ca 1910 “White folks on the sofa, / Niggers on the grass, / White man is talking low / Nigger is getting ass.”--‘Black English’ by Levine, page 279>

<1916-22 “‘Good ASS.’ A competent fuckstress”--‘Sex Vocabulary’ by Cary, III>

<ca 1918 “Oh, Captain, may I have a pass? / For I want to get A PIECE OF ASS“--‘Mademoiselle from Armentieres’ by Carey, II (unpublished)>

<1930 “A fine gal . . .the finest little PIECE OF ASS in Montparnasse.”--‘Letters to Emil’ by H. Miller, page 69>

<1947 “You think you can give her a better PIECE OF ASS than anybody else?”--‘Naked & Dead’ by Mailer, page 146>

<1980 “I don't take that description as a slam. I was a great PIECE OF ASS.”--R ‘Brimstone’ by R. L. Duncan, i. page 22>
Ken G – March 11, 2004
Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
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piece of ass

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:29 am

Mr. Ken Greenwald:
Very interesting. I have an English friend here in Lublin, (goes to the University) who is learning Polish and I am learning English. He comes from Manchester England, and that's what he calls it, a piece of ass. I sort of felt uncomfortable with that, but after reading your piece, I feel much better. I must show it to him.

Is it that the man gets a 'piece of ass' and the woman 'gets laid?'

PS: I just joined your group, and hopefully you can help me with my English.

Reply from Ania Polak (Lublin - Poland)
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piece of ass

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:44 am

As to Nick Bottom...the pun is even more elaborate than that. Shakespeare (probably) has in mind a condition known as "weaver's bottom" - a deformity of the buttocks caused by sitting at the loom all day.
Reply from Joshua Gutoff (Huntington Station - U.S.A.)
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piece of ass

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:58 am

Ah yes, ‘Loominassence’s disease’!
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Ken G – March 12, 2004

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
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piece of ass

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:13 am

<g>
Was there so much weaving (except words) in Skapespeare´s times?

(and I doubt that the dissease would be "deforming"...Do you have something like the "tusk´s knob" also...may be more adequate for that time...)
Reply from Jan Saudek (Marbach - Germany)
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piece of ass

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:27 am

Jan, How do you think most cloth was made?

Ken – March 13, 2004

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
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piece of ass

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:41 am

Exactly what I was going to say Ken. Jan should visit LODZ, Poland or here in Lublin.
Reply from Ania Polak (Lublin - Poland)
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piece of ass

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:56 am

crochet??

;-)
Reply from Jan Saudek (Marbach - Germany)
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piece of ass

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:10 am

What about a piece of cherry pie? I've heard that in connection with "getting a piece" and the shape does resemble the female form (Y).
Reply from Gary Bradford (Los Angeles - U.S.A.)
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piece of ass

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:25 am

I've always thought that a leg of lamb tastes far better than a piece of ass. But I guess that's just me.
Reply from Erik Kowal ( - England)
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Re: piece of ass

Post by EdwinMcCravy » Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:58 pm

The vagina looks like a small butt or ass. So it's a small piece of an ass.
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Re: piece of ass

Post by trolley » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:56 pm

What does a (piece of) tail or a (piece of kit) resemble?
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