Arse Meaning: What Does the Slang Term “Arse” Mean? (with Useful Examples)

What does Arse mean? What does this British slang term stand for? Learn the meaning and how to use this term with interesting conversation examples and ESL infographic.

Arse Meaning

What Does Arse Mean?

Arse is slang for someones buttock, different than “ass” which is the slang for a donkey. Its usage is normally reserved for someone who is viewed as unintelligent or unpleasant. It can also be used in a more jovial manner among friends and finally, exclaiming “arse” is common if someone is angry or surprised.

Origin of Arse

Arse had a long history of usage in the English language, with its roots in old and middle English. The roots go so deep, in fact, that arse can be traced all the way back to the Proto-Indo-European language. Used as a term for the backside or buttock, it quickly became slang for someone who was deemed either unintelligent or unpleasant.

By the 20th century it was ingrained in the English language as an insult and by the time of internet and mobile communications saw plenty of usage both jovial or as an actual insult.

Other Meanings

There is no other meanings of arse.

Conversation Examples

Text Between Friends:

  • Friend 1: Hey, wanna hit the pub tonight?
  • Friend 2: Nah mate, can’t. Have to study.
  • Friend 1: You? Study? You’re a dumb arse.
  • Friend 2: That may be, but I really need to pass these midterms if I want a chance at graduation.
  • Friend 1: OK. Offer still stands.

Online Discussion

  • User 1: I mean he was making a joke, you don’t have to be an ass.
  • User 2: I think you meant to say arse.
  • User 1: I know. I said ass.
  • User 3: Not this again. Potato potato, tomato tomato, ass arse. Same word, different same meaning.
  • User 2: Arse is spelled differently.
  • User 3: My point still stands.

Other Ways to Say the Slang Word

While arse and ass mean the same thing, some users online will be offended over the usage depending on region. The British and those that speak British-English feel “arse” is the correct spelling while those speaking American-English feel “ass” is the correct spelling. Arse and Ass, however, are interchangeable to use. Arse is normally spelled with either an uppercase or lowercase A.

Arse Meaning Infographic