"piece of ass" huge antedate

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 21 12:25:22 UTC 2014

Your Latin lesson for the day. N.L. Syrett, assumed numismatist, was
undoubtedly thinking of an underlying *ass. The Roman <AS> is a singular
masculine, and  I-T   I-S   S-O-O  L-O-O-O-O-N-G. (Has a long
[A-A-A-AH!!!], that is.)  This long [A-A-A-AH!!!], BTW, was contracted from
an <*ass> with a short [ah!], the CASUS being RECTUS. The oblique stem,
OTOH, is <ass->, with that teeny-weeny vocalism, because it's (like) it's
got a pair bang up behind it. E.g. <ASSES> = nominative-accusative plural.
For a denarius, you could get 10 asses; don't spend it all in one place.
Aes was used to make brass asses.
   BTW, Allen & Greenough's grammar (p.532) has a section entitled <Uses of

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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