Posted by Bob on February 06, 2003
In Reply to: Phrase origin posted by Bookworm on February 06, 2003
: : : I know what "ass end over a tea kettle" means, but can anyone tell me its origin?
: : To me it's most likely just one of those made up sayings developed in a misguided way in an attempt to shock or be really 'cool', as the modern vernacular has it. Not so long ago that would have read 'to be really with it'. All examples of ephemeral catch phrases. I await correction.
: I'd heard it as "tail over tea kettle". I'm guessing that this was the original British version and was vulgarized when it came to the US. But why is it "tea kettle"?
Many variations exist. I've heard a number of them, including "ass over tin cups," and the well-worn "head over heels." It would be easy enough to adapt for any purpose: just invent new variations: "buns over briefcase," for instance.