Or your uncle is a bit of a tight-arse


Senior Member

It's the movie "What we did on our vacations".
Granddad is talking to her niece about her dad and her uncle,
"I mean, so what if your dad is a complete and utter bloody shambles?
Or your Uncle Gavin's a bit of a tight-arse?
All that social climbing! He can't help himself."

Now, there are two explanations for "tight-arse".
"inhibited person" and "miser".
But I can't relate any of this entirely with the following "all that social climbing".
So, some social climber has to be inhibited or miser?
I would be attempted to say "inhibited" but I miss his idea here.
Any idea?

Thank you
  • dermott

    Senior Member
    B.E. via Australian English
    Given the reference to social climbing, tight-arse more likely refers to Uncle Gavin's personality. Inhibited is a narrow definition of tight-arse. The term can also describe someone who is conventional, even conservative, in their ways. Stitched-up is another idiomatic expression along the same lines.


    Senior Member
    Okay for conventional, even conservative,
    but I don't really see any solid link between this and social climbing.
    Thank you, Dermott.
    Granddad is Scottish.