Pull your head out of your ass

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Xiroi, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Xiroi Banned

    I hope someone could help me with this expression!!!

    I'm reading a book by an Irish author and this expression is used a lot in different contexts. I had never heard it before At first I thought I more or less understood what it meant thanks to the context, something like go ahead and don't be afraid to do whatever they're talking about. Now I'm not so sure as it's used in many different situations. Is it used also in other countries?
  2. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Hello Xiroi. Yes, I can imagine this expression being used in a lot of different contexts.
    (1) Stop thinking about things so much ~ just go ahead and do them.
    (2) Stop thinking about your own troubles so much ~ just go ahead and solve them.
    (3) Stop being such a total idiot ~ think clearly for once.
    (4) Stop being so bloody vain ~ you're not that wonderful.
    etc. etc. in fact, a lot of different situations covered by the general formula:
    Stop [___ing] and [____] instead.
    I hope that made sense!
  3. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    To have your head up your ass (arse in UK/Ireland) means to be self-absorbed (or absorbed in unworldly distractions) to the extent that you do not see what is going on around you. To be told to pull your head out of your ass is an admonishment to desist from this: "look around you, see what is going on", etc.

    This to me is a US expression. In Ireland (and the UK) the word is "arse" (anus, buttocks), although the AE "ass" is so often heard on movies and TV that some Irish/British English speakers use it.
  4. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Yes, I agree, MM, that that particular meaning (number 2 in my list) is probably the commonest in the UK.
  5. katie_here Senior Member

    To me, this expression means to avoid something.

    No.2 in Ewie's list, but not particularly because you are thinking of your own problems but you won't face up to the one at hand.

    I think that's where the "head up the arse" comes from, not "facing" anything.
  6. Xiroi Banned

    Thank you for your help.

    Arse/ass: All the characters are Irish and they actually use both terms in the novel, even as part of this same expression or in other sentences.

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