"Asshat" - origination and definition?
January 8, 2004 6:23 PM   Subscribe

Where did the term "asshat" originate, and what's it's definition?
posted by SpecialK to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)

posted by holloway at 6:31 PM on January 8, 2004

"He who wears his ass for a hat." One who has, so to speak, his head up his ass. See "rectum necklace."
posted by majick at 6:55 PM on January 8, 2004

It was coined by someone who was trying to think up a phrase as coolly resonant as "assblanket," and fell short.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:41 PM on January 8, 2004

See also : sphincter chapeau, bum beret, and cloaca cap.

My development team (under my admittedly sophomoric captainship, I am ashamed to admit) was using these back in '99 in Australia, mostly to refer to Management. So 'asshat' at least (the others were, I think, our own inventions) goes back at least that far.

I'm still disappointed that 'shitmittens' never caught on.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:44 PM on January 8, 2004

I first heard it at the General Mayhem board (which no longer exists) at [H]ardforums around 2001/2002 I think. A google groups search finds the earliest mentioning in 2002.
posted by yangwar at 7:49 PM on January 8, 2004

Hasn't caught on yet, Stavrostheshitmittens. (Couldn't resist, love it, will use it at work next week if I can).
posted by daver at 8:00 PM on January 8, 2004

I think this is a play on an older expression, wearing your ass for a hat, an idiot. I've heard that a least a few times. I clearly remember the John Goodman line from Raising Arizona (1987):

First escaped convict: "All right now everone, you know how this works: Y'all stay flattened for ten full minutes. We might come back in five to check. That's for us to know and y'all to find out."

Goodman: "Anyone caught bipedal in 5 wears his ass for a hat."
posted by planetkyoto at 1:22 AM on January 9, 2004

I meant to write "I too think..."
posted by planetkyoto at 1:24 AM on January 9, 2004

Hee hee. I have no information to offer, but just have to say, this is a great question SpecialK that I have always wondered about, and y'all answers are great. I agree, it's a pity about the shitmittens.
posted by carter at 7:22 AM on January 9, 2004

majick, stav: You should consider submitting your definitions here for the benefit of future generations.
posted by biffa at 9:30 AM on January 9, 2004

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