Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR ASS

If a chap's not born with the gift he's an ass to think he can acquire it.

And for heaven's sake, don't make an ass of yourself this time!

Say,—Ass, how could you do it; Beast, what did you mean by it!

But the German ass wore the blinders that science had made--and saw no angel.

You are not to pass On these high questions; plainly, you're an ass.

And there stood an ass, waiting for him, on which he mounted.

Always knew the ass would make a silly marriage if he could.

"Say rather an ass, shaved and painted to resemble a zebra," muttered John.

I tell you this is a printed list, A burning candle and an ass.

You're supposed to have an awful lot of tact if you're an ambassador, and I'm rather an ass at tact!

WORD ORIGIN

beast of burden, Old English assa (Old Northumbrian assal, assald) "he-ass," probably from Old Celtic *as(s)in "donkey," which (with German esel, Gothic asilus, Lithuanian asilas, Old Church Slavonic osl) ultimately is from Latin asinus, which is probably of Middle Eastern origin (cf. Sumerian ansu).

Since ancient Greek times, in fables and parables, the animal typified clumsiness and stupidity (hence asshead, late 15c., etc.). To make an ass of oneself is from 1580s. Asses' Bridge (c.1780), from Latin Pons Asinorum, is fifth proposition of first book of Euclid's "Elements." In Middle English, someone uncomprehending or unappreciative would be lik an asse that listeth on a harpe. In 15c., an ass man was a donkey driver.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR ASS

asshole

nouncontemptible person

bastard

nounjerk
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.