Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 18:20:12 -0500
From: "Donald M. Lance" engdl[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU
Subject: Re: Okay....new 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
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.