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"Ass" as suffix and synecdoche

Posted by Anders on December 07, 2005

"...begging your pardon sir, but it's a big-ass sky." (Armageddon)

"If this window isn't brill, I will go carnival-freak crazy on your ass." (Will & Grace)

The quote from Armageddon is humorous because of the clashing levels of formality (sir v. ass). This instance of "ass as suffix" is common, of course, and is also found in other combinations: crazy-ass, sweet-ass, etc. - what are the most common instances?

The quote from Will & Grace is funny in context because of the gratuitous violence (you would have to see it). Here "ass" does not contribute to the fun, as it functions merely as a synecdoche, i.e. one body part is meant to represent the entire person. This becomes all the more evident as we hear what follows: "I'm serious. I will scratch your eyes out." That is, the actual threat is to the eyes, not the ass. I'd love to hear more about the origin of this usage, which is common too, and also if there is any relation between "ass as suffix" and "ass as synecdoche." (Personally I don't see it.) Thanks.