Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 10:12:21 -0700 From: Peter McGraw Subject: Re: Anodyne expletives On Mon, 8 May 1995, Wayne Glowka wrote: > . . . and asel. He believed the > >latter to be German for ass-hole, although I don't think Germans ever refer > >specifically to that orifice. > > > >Stephanie Hysmith > > > Some Germans lived up the street from me when I was in high school. They > hollered something like "Asch-loch" for "ass-hole." I don't know enough > real German to say what this word is supposed to be. > > > Wayne Glowka > Professor of English > Director of Research and Graduate Student Services > Georgia College > Milledgeville, GA 31061 > 912-453-4222 > wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] > Pretty close, Wayne. The German word is Arschloch. [Come to think of it, that probably shoots down my speculation about a derivation of English "asshole" from German "Esel." The anatomical expression is attested in Old High German and is probably much older in English - though in the cognate form "arse" - than such a possible borrowing. I don't have an OED handy to check.] Peter McGraw Linfield College McMinnville, OR