NOT GIVE A RAT’S ASS

Origin:  This expression belongs to a whole group of idioms most likely stemming from “not giving a damn”. It’s a strong way to indicate that you seriously do not care about something. It is common in English to use expletives such as damn and stronger ones to emphasize the speaker’s point of view. In this case the concept is to use a word or phrase about something that is considered worthless. There is a whole range of words that could be substituted for damn, not all printable here. For some reason “hoot” and “fig” are sometimes used. Rats are frequently associated with strong negative feelings, and they are considered worthless; even more worthless would be the hind quarters or “ass”/”arse” of a rat. The OED cites the 1953 novel Battle Cry as the first appearance in print, but Mark Twain in Huckleberry Finn already has a character saying “I don’t give a dad rat”.

 

Usage: Informal, spoken, general American  English. Considered somewhat vulgar.

Idiomatic Meaning: To seriously not care about something

Literal Meaning: Looking at this phrase literally assumes that someone might actually want the hind-quarters of a rat. That being the case, the expression means to refuse to give it to someone.

 

Why is this funny? Amazingly we see a situation where someone other than a lab researcher or perhaps a cook of very strange foods, actually does want a rat’s ass. We see two people who were wearing a giant rat’s costume, similar to a horse costume. The costume is so big that it takes two people to wear it. The one with the rat’s head is in the front and the one with the ass is in the rear. Perhaps the show is now over and perhaps this was a rented costume that needs to be returned; or maybe the guy with the rat’s head wants to keep the entire costume as a souvenir. Whatever, we see the other guy, still wearing the rat’s ass, refusing to give it up. Furthermore, by saying he doesn’t care we get the figurative sense of the expression. So the guy doesn’t give a rat’s ass about giving the rat’s ass!

 

Sample sentence: I broke up with my girlfriend last night. I don’t give a rat’s ass if I never see her again!

NOT GIVE A RAT’S ASS

Origin:  This expression belongs to a whole group of idioms most likely stemming from “not giving a damn”. It’s a strong way to indicate that you seriously do not care about something. It is common in English to use expletives such as damn and stronger ones to emphasize the speaker’s point of view. In this case the concept is to use a word or phrase about something that is considered worthless. There is a whole range of words that could be substituted for damn, not all printable here. For some reason “hoot” and “fig” are sometimes used. Rats are frequently associated with strong negative feelings, and they are considered worthless; even more worthless would be the hind quarters or “ass”/”arse” of a rat. The OED cites the 1953 novel Battle Cry as the first appearance in print, but Mark Twain in Huckleberry Finn already has a character saying “I don’t give a dad rat”.

 

Usage: Informal, spoken, general American  English. Considered somewhat vulgar.

Idiomatic Meaning: To seriously not care about something

Literal Meaning: Looking at this phrase literally assumes that someone might actually want the hind-quarters of a rat. That being the case, the expression means to refuse to give it to someone.

 

Why is this funny? Amazingly we see a situation where someone other than a lab researcher or perhaps a cook of very strange foods, actually does want a rat’s ass. We see two people who were wearing a giant rat’s costume, similar to a horse costume. The costume is so big that it takes two people to wear it. The one with the rat’s head is in the front and the one with the ass is in the rear. Perhaps the show is now over and perhaps this was a rented costume that needs to be returned; or maybe the guy with the rat’s head wants to keep the entire costume as a souvenir. Whatever, we see the other guy, still wearing the rat’s ass, refusing to give it up. Furthermore, by saying he doesn’t care we get the figurative sense of the expression. So the guy doesn’t give a rat’s ass about giving the rat’s ass!

 

Sample sentence: I broke up with my girlfriend last night. I don’t give a rat’s ass if I never see her again!

  1. ryanmlong reblogged this from rollsoffthetongue
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  5. dijonae said: Lol he put the costume on and the mouse put the pants on
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  8. high-topsandflip-flops reblogged this from rollsoffthetongue and added:
    I don’t give a rats ass!!!
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