Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 18:20:12 -0500


Subject: Re: topic.

Class discussion has lead to a question about a specific term used quite

often in the English language (at least, the English language to which I

am accustomed to listening).....the term "rat's ass" (i.e. I don't give a

rat's ass what he says!) What does it really mean? And where does it

originate? Also, are there any other terms that are similar in makeup

and usage?

It's so widespread that I wonder if it came from military usage. Soldiers

and officers frequently have the red ass about something, also called RA.

There could have been some sort of transfer from RA to the other

expression. It seems I've known both terms all my life, but I may have

learned them in ROTC or in the Army around 1950. Brown-nosing and brownie

points have military origins.