Posted by James Briggs on July 09, 2004
In Reply to: Re: "Talking through the back of her neck" posted by Bruce Kahl on July 08, 2004
: : : : : More Wodehouse.
: : : : : This is from The Code of the Wooster.
: : : : : What does it mean?
: : : : : :-)
: : : : There is a phrase "talking out of your @$$" which is used when a person is speaking about a topic that they know very little about and trying to fool people into thinking that they do. This could be a variation. Maybe this is a British variation? Could you supply some context?
: : :
: : : --------
: : : May be. I am not sure.
: : : This book was written in the 1930's.
: : : Here is the context:
: : : (the aunt says:)
: : : ".all I wanted was to tell you to go to an antique shop in the Brompton Road and sneer at a cow creamer".
: : : I did not get her drift. The impression I received was that of an aunt talking through the back of her neck.
: : :
: : : (cow creamer is a milk jug).
: : : The reason the aunt sends him to the shop is to lower the price.
: : I don't think this is a commonly used phrase per se. I think it just means he had no idea what she was on about - it was as bizarre as her voice coming from the back of her neck would have been. I don't think it's the same as the American expression - "Talking out one's ass" or the British experssion "Talking out one's arse", either.
: Googling the phrase I see the it being used to describe someone who has no idea what he or she is talking about as in:
: "How, you may be asking, do I dare to dissent from the opinions of the judge? I dissent because I have read the evidence presented to Hutton, and I put it to you that the judge is noble, learned and talking through the back of his neck."
The more common version in Britain is, I believe, 'talking out of the back of your head'. It means the same.