Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 18:20:12 -0500 From: "Donald M. Lance" 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.