Posted by Smokey Stover on June 15, 2005
In Reply to: Re: "Pain in the ass" posted by R. Berg on June 15, 2005
: : : : : What is the exact meaning of the phrase "pain in the ass"
: : : : It is a phrase used to describe someone or something that is annoying, irritating, boring or in some other way unpleasant.
: : : : DFG
: : : In polite company you can say "pain in the neck" which means the same thing.
: : Resolved: let's all live in polite company.
It started out as just a pain, as in "He gives me a pain." Pain in the neck was next (OED cites from 1911), then pain in the rear end and pain in the ass . In my boyhood, pain in the neck was standard. Pain in the ass I heard only after World War II, although doubtless it was around earlier. SS