Posted by Lewis on February 07, 2003
In Reply to: Ass end over teakettle posted by R. Berg 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.
: I have nothing to say about this phrase. I'm posting only to tack a more specific title than "Phrase origin" on the discussion. That way I'll know not to recheck it tomorrow thinking it might be something I missed.
Arse over tit(s) describes the arc of falling over forwards - it describes the type of falling over where the erect order of body-parts is reversed by the calamity. it contrasts with "flat on his arse" in which the legs go forward and under.
because of the "crude" nature of the expression - various sanitised verions appear as does the abbreviation "AOT" - although I have not heard that one recently.