Thursday, December 9, 2010

Origins of "Pain in the Neck" (and Other Stuff You Never Needed to Know)

I have a crick in my neck today, which has set my mind slightly off kilter along with my head. I have been reminded of the genie in Aladdin flinging out of the lamp saying this:

                       10,000 YEARS...will give ya such a crick in the neck!

Want to watch this part? Rub the, click the link..

I like words. I want to know their meanings and even their origins. I particularly like the origins of phrases. SO, since my neck is making me appear that I am saying "huh?" all day long anyway, I wondered where the phrase "pain in the neck" originated, and so on. See why I can't get anything done?

Origins of "Pain in the Neck" led me to the origins of the true phrase "pain in the arse", which dates all the way back to the 1900's. That was the same time as many electrical items were invented, so the surfacing of this phrase around then makes a lot of sense. 

Women's suffrage also became big talk on the radio during this time period, so I guess we started being a pain in the neck too - in the best kind of way. While I appreciate the effort, I am certainly glad I missed out on the hunger strikes that occurred to guarantee my rights.   

So, I am including the P.I.T.N/A. definition for you...don't say I never shared anything.

p.s. There was an ad under the phrase that shouted "Tell me your symptoms!", which made me come up with all kinds of sarcastic answers... 

Idioms & Phrases

"pain in the neck"

Also, pain in the a$$ or butt .  A source of annoyance, a nuisance, as in Joan is a real pain in the neck, with her constant complaining , or Jack told his brother to stop being a pain in the ass . The first of these colloquial expressions dates from about 1900 and originated as a euphemism for the two less polite variants.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.

If she were "Team Jacob", she wouldn't have this problem, just saying.


dany chandra said...

Seriously i don’t generally respond to content but I’ sure will in this case. Seriously a big thumbs up for this one!Pain in the neck problem.Thanks

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry if I missed something but I don't see the link between the phrase and electrical items or the suffragette movement.

How are they realated to having pain residing in your neck/arse?

Unknown said...

Electrical items often are a pain in the neck/arse. Suffragettes were thought to be a pain in the neck/arse. The phrase culminated at the time of their introduction. A bit of a joke. Resist overthinking it. :)

Unknown said...

I believe it was trying to say radio helped spread the saying but I'm not sure why that would be the case any more with this saying than any other (why don't the majority of sayings have their roots during the dawn of radio?) And i didn't really get much of an explanation of the origin of the saying...

Unknown said...

I think the reference to then-new electrical gadgets and the Suffragette campaign, simply meant that unfamiliar new appliances can be a pain-in-the-arse when they break down or if you can't get the hang of operating them; as could women whining about wanting the right to vote, to men (or women) of the era who disagreed with such crusading :)

zeri said...

Article didn't even come close to finding the origin of this idiom
Just hints at its emergence into modern publications via electronic means