Pederasty in VERBATIM

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sun Jun 6 20:14:52 UTC 1999


You are not alone in being troubled by such pitiful associations of sexual
preference with pederasty. In this particular case, however, the confusion
goes deeper than you point out. "Piece of ass" is the term of choice by
many for heterosexual sexual penetration (or the object of such intent -
"Bill was hot for a piece of ass," meaning Bill [+male] wanted heterosexual
contact). "Ass" alone (in such phrases as "Get some ass") has the same

I am sure you know this, but, since there were recent complaints on the
list from people whose lives (they suggested) were relatively sheltered, I
thought I'd point this out.

(Now for real confusion, I bet y'all Northerners don't know who's looking
for what in such utterances as "I'm going to get me some cock.")


>Am I the only person who is troubled by the following passage in "Assing
>Around" (by Jessy Randall and Wendy Woloson; VERBATIM, vol 22, no. 2, Spring
>1999): ". . . a male pederast . . . is . . . in search of _a piece of ass_.
>(In prison slang, a _butt pussy_ is an anus" (p8).
>     It seems to me that this confuses anal intercourse, homosexual acts, and
>child molestation! In fact, the use of the term _a piece of ass_ in the sense
>'anal sexual penetration' is neither necessarily nor sufficiently related to
>pederasty (the sexual molestation of children). Pederasty may involve any one
>of several sexual acts that do not necessarily implicate the anus at all.
>Likewise, anal sexual penetration is practiced by many couples, not just
>"male pederasts." The phrases _taking it up the ass_ and _taking it in the
>ass_ (both of which the authors inexplicably overlook) are frequently
>employed to describe this widespread sexual practice.

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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