open-arse

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Old English openærs, corresponding to open + arse (‘with allusion to the large cavity at the end of the fruit between the persistent calyx lobes’ – OED3).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

open-arse (plural open-arses)

  1. (UK regional) The medlar fruit. [from 10th c.]
    • c. 1390, Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘Reeve's Prologue’, Canterbury Tales (Ellesmere manuscript):
      But if I fare as dooth an Openers / That ilke fruyt is euer leng the wers / Til it be roten in Mullok or in stree [...].
    • 1837, John Bellenden Kerr, An Essay on the Archaeology of our Popular Phrases and Nursery Rhymes, vol II.1:
      In several of our counties the same fruit is called an open arse; another of those unluckily belotted travesties of a very properly-expressed original phrase [...].
    • 1968, Eric Partridge, Shakespeare's Bawdy, Routledge 2002, p. 129:
      On a second reading, prompted by the reproaches of several friends and scholars, I conclude that the pun on medlar, slangily known as ‘an open-arse’, and poperin pear, shape-resembling penis and scrotum, is so forcibly obvious that ‘an open et-caetera’ must here mean ‘an open arse’.