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Ass over tea kettle

Do you know what it means to go ass over tea kettle?

  • Yes, doesn't everybody?

    Votes: 41 78.8%
  • No, I live under a rock.

    Votes: 11 21.2%

  • Total voters
    52

RideND

Monkey
Nov 1, 2003
795
2
Mandan, ND
Okay, so I wrote a story about how I like riding bike in my comp class. In one of the parts I said I went ass over tea kettle. My teacher says to me: What is ass over tea kettle?

Do some people actually not know what that means? P.s. he thought my intro was boring but everyone I have read it likes it. What do you think?

Every kid learns to ride a bike. But not every kid learns to cherish a bike. Ever since I was 8, I have loved my bike. From my first blue huffy that I learned to ride at my grandparents farmhouse to my $3000 Iron Horse Hollowpoint Mark III Expert in olive green, my bike has been a source of freedom, exercise, and companionship.
 

robdamanii

OMG! <3 Tom Brady!
May 2, 2005
10,681
0
Out of my mind, back in a moment.
RideND said:
Okay, so I wrote a story about how I like riding bike in my comp class. In one of the parts I said I went ass over tea kettle. My teacher says to me: What is ass over tea kettle?

Do some people actually not know what that means? P.s. he thought my intro was boring but everyone I have read it likes it. What do you think?

Every kid learns to ride a bike. But not every kid learns to cherish a bike. Ever since I was 8, I have loved my bike. From my first blue huffy that I learned to ride at my grandparents farmhouse to my $3000 Iron Horse Hollowpoint Mark III Expert in olive green, my bike has been a source of freedom, exercise, and companionship.
How old is he? Could be a generation gap issue. I remember my grandfather using that phrase.
 
Inform the teacher that it's understood by the National Review's Jay Nordlinger:

"Folks, I’ve been saving something up for you. You may recall an item, a couple of months ago, concerning the phrase “ass over tea kettle.”

Here’s what I wrote: “I was with an NR bigwig, and he was describing a spill he took in the street: ‘So there I went, ass over tea kettle.’ Loved it. Immediately told David Pryce-Jones, in London. He said, ‘Here, we say “ass over t*t.”’ (For some reason, I think the second word is more bleepable than the first.) David knows everything, of course: wars, literature, slang expressions — doesn’t matter.”

Okay, this item provoked many wonderful and instructive letters, which I now offer you as a linguistic-cultural feast. Enjoy.

“I am surprised that you seem surprised and amused to discover the phrase ‘ass over tea kettle.’ I’m about to be 60 years old, and I grew up as a faculty brat on a New England college campus. In my day, ‘ass over tea kettle’ was not an uncommon phrase. In my ‘proper’ family — Dad was a scientist from Minnesota — we always said ‘bass over tea kettle,’ but the point was taken. Of course, having been raised in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Dad had actually spent a lot of time in the company of bass.”

“Thank you for the reference to ‘ass over tea kettle.’ My dad used to say that often, but I haven’t heard it in years (he has been gone for 16 years now). Since we are not English, but of German-from-Russia heritage, I always wondered about things related to tea and tea kettles. I can’t imagine the origin of that phrase, but I love the memories it brings back.”

“Dear Jay: Here in Des Moines, we’re more prone to say ‘ass over applecart,’ but I’ve heard the tea-kettle variation. Fun.”

“Jay, my mom always referred to going ‘assh*** over appetite.’ Maybe food is more important than tea in Missouri.”

“Jay, is your ass-over-tea-kettle NR bigwig a Canuck? [No — he’s Dusty Rhodes, a true-blue New Yorker.] Common expression up there.”

“Dear Jay: My personal favorite phrase for taking a tumble is ‘t*ts up.’ It’s mostly a motorcyclist term — as in, ‘I was riding this monster wheelie, one leg off, crossed up, when I accidentally dabbed the rear brake and it all went t*ts up.’”

“The best use I’ve heard of this British slang was in the movie A Bridge Too Far. A British general was explaining to Sean Connery’s character why the British 1st Airbourne couldn’t land in a more promising field that was actually near the bridge: ‘Can’t have soggy ground, old boy. The gliders go in, go ass over t*ts, and the whole thing’s a write-off.’”

“Jay, in southern Ohio, the phrase is ‘ass over appetite.’”

Dear Jay: “Makes me think of several related words from my younger days when I rode motocross motorcycles. There was ‘endo,’ which meant you did a somersault over your handlebars when the rear of the bike kicked up. A related event was the dreaded ‘flying W.’ This was when the rear of the bike kicked your feet up off the pegs while you maintained a grip on the handlebars. If your feet went high enough, from the front you looked like a ‘W’ flying.

“Crashing in corners usually meant ‘lowsiding’ or ‘highsiding.’ You lowsided by laying the bike down when the tires lost grip, basically a sit-out and not very frightening because speeds are fairly slow in corners. But if the tires hook up and the bike tosses you over, that’s highsiding, and it’s as scary as being dropped headfirst from about four feet in the air, with a lateral vector mixed in for fun.

“Yes, I rode dirt bikes and have the X-rays to prove it. Speaking of crashes, I’ve seen this show up in the civilian press: ‘brain fade.’ It comes from ‘brake fade,’ which is what happens when a race car’s brakes get so hot they boil their hydraulic fluid and won’t work. Brain fade happens when your brain overheats or otherwise stops working.

“Ain’t English wonderful?”

“My paternal grandmother (Primitive Baptist Scots-Cherokee woman) always said ‘hind over teakettle.’”

“Jay, I had a thermodynamics prof (a Brit, incidentally) who said ‘apex over base.’ I prefer that version, both for its suitability for mixed company, and its mild geekiness.”

“The military-aviation expression for upside-down, universally adopted (at least in the Air Force), is ‘t*ts up.’ My wife, a former Air Force (and current FedEx) pilot, seems inordinately fond of that expression.”

“So, Jay, you think ‘ass’ is more acceptable than ‘t*t’? You think ‘t*t’ should be bleeped? Well check out www.nice-tits.org. Don’t worry: It’s the site of the Royal Ornithological Society.”

I am speechless — with admiration.

Thanks, guys."
 

Tenchiro

Attention K Mart Shoppers
Jul 19, 2002
5,407
0
New England
That post got me thinking so I looked up the etymology;

Julie Alix Robichaux writes: I wanna know about "ass over teakettle."

Ass over teakettle is one of many variants of an expression meaning 'head over heels; topsy-turvy; in confusion'. The usual British version is ass over tip (or tit), which occurs in James Joyce's Ulysses, among other works. This form also occurs in America. For instance, in The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck has a character say "You jus' scrabblin' ass over tit, fear somebody gonna pin some blame on you."

The earliest known example of the phrase is in an 1899 book about Virginia folk exressions, which defines "ass over head" as "Head over heels; topsy-turvy." (Note that "ass over head" is a logical expression for a messed-up situation, as opposed to "head over heels," which would seem to be the natural order of things.) However, there must have been many different variants even at that time: a 1943 book about Indiana dialect in the 1890s lists "ass over appetite," "ass over applecart," and "ass over endways." The common "teakettle" variation is first found in a 1946 book about fighter pilots in WWII, in a euphemized form: "He displayed a rump-over-tea-kettle aggressiveness in seeking dog-fights."
 

Skookum

bikey's is cool
Jul 26, 2002
10,189
0
in a bear cave
i was raised by my grandparents so it's kind of like i was raised in the 50's during the 80's. So i've used that term quite a bit.
And usually after you go ass over tea kettle, you're gonna walk around like you got a hitch in your get along, haha.
 

hooples3

Fuggetaboutit!
Mar 14, 2005
5,247
0
Brooklyn
I have never heard that exprssion quite like that but anyone with a half of brain can figure out what it means...
 

RideND

Monkey
Nov 1, 2003
795
2
Mandan, ND
Anybody think my intro sucks? I really liked it and then to have him say it was boring kinda stole my thunder.


Every kid learns to ride a bike. But not every kid learns to cherish a bike. Ever since I was 8, I have loved my bike. From my first blue huffy that I learned to ride at my grandparents farmhouse to my $3000 Iron Horse Hollowpoint Mark III Expert in olive green, my bike has been a source of freedom, exercise, and companionship.
 
J

JRB

Guest
I know, but can see someone not knowing. I am far smarter than most people. :D
 

steve45

Monkey
Sep 30, 2003
483
1
Dundee, Scotland
looking at the title of the thread i didnt quite catch on, but seeing it in context i instantly understood what it meant, but i have to say that is the first time i've ever heard that experession.
 

Kopiklokoli

Monkey
Jul 31, 2004
151
0
Nor Cal, of course
Since no one seems to be commenting on your intro, I will.
Looking at it now I would say it is ok. As for advice I would not use brand names of your bikes and deffinitely not prices. Talking about your $3000 dollar IH..... is long and meaningless to someone who does not ride(your teacher).

What about this: Although almost every child learns to ride a bike, very few children look at a bike as a source of freedom, exercise and campionship. Since the age of eight, when I rode my first blue bike around my grandparents farm, to now, I have charished every bike I have owned.

hope that helps, it just seems a little more concise to me.
 

lovebunny

can i lick your balls?
Dec 14, 2003
7,238
35
San Diego, California, United States
but hes trying to show the difference between the huffy and the IH. and that he loved them both the same. ive found its very hard to translate riding into an essay to someone who doesnt ride. sometimes i throw in a lil pic page so they get an idea. plus i get extra credit for it.