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Hi, I am new to Fool, and brand spanking new to this board. I was posting on another board, and I read "I can't be asked to comment on...".

I (accidentally) mentioned that I was certain it should be 'can't be arsed'. Can anyone verify? And/or explain the meaning behind the phrase?
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Hi marge2005

'I can't be arsed' is the usual expression. It appears to be relatively recent. When I was a young person in Ireland the expression there was 'I wouldn't bother me arse', which meant that you felt it was too much trouble to rise from a seated position to attend to the matter. Probably the current expression develops from some such idea. It is odd, though, because as far as I am aware, there are no other expressions where 'arse' is used as a verb in this sense. 'Arsing about' is a completely different matter.

S.
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So, are some people saying "I can't be asked" (in a rich southern brogue) as a mis-hearing of "I can't be arsed"? I do hope so, what a lovely bit of lexical change.

McDodo

JinxM:
Posted on 26/05/2005 18:13:04
"Can't be arsed" is great - I use it a lot. My brother's German girlfriend also used it - but a meeting with her bosses. She thought it was "can't be asked"

from
http://www.jinxm.co.uk/index.asp?a=424&c=1&o=1

and some boring pedants seem to be posting out there, where I find:

Can't be asked to logon
Guest

http://www.thefridayproject.co.uk/talk/showthread.php?t=1406&page=1

and

For those who are lazy or just can't be asked, ...
from

http://www.ozzu.com/ftopic23540.html
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Ohh! a new eggcorn spotted.

http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/

I think I will mention this on The Word is Your Oyster.

http://boards.fool.co.uk/Messages.asp?mid=9399544&bid=51472

Simon
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This is one of my pet hates. It has nothing to do with 'Arses' This phrase is 'I can't be asked' It was originally from someone commenting on anothers attitude towards being asked to do something. The comment made to that person being 'DO IT ? YOU WON'T EVEN BE ASKED TO DO IT, WILL YOU?' So the orginal phrase was 'He can't be asked' (to do something) and then the person being told this has at some stage accepted this comment and says to people. 'Me, I can't be asked' (to do it) This has then come to sound like 'Can't be arsed', which doesn't mean anything in English.
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This is one of my pet hates. It has nothing to do with 'Arses' This phrase is 'I can't be asked' It was originally from someone commenting on anothers attitude towards being asked to do something. The comment made to that person being 'DO IT ? YOU WON'T EVEN BE ASKED TO DO IT, WILL YOU?' So the orginal phrase was 'He can't be asked' (to do something) and then the person being told this has at some stage accepted this comment and says to people. 'Me, I can't be asked' (to do it) This has then come to sound like 'Can't be arsed', which doesn't mean anything in English.

Do you have a reference for this? There's plenty of anecdotal evidence around that the "asked" version is based on a mis-hearing of "arsed", or a desire not to be "impolite".

Scott.
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Hello marge2005 -
Seeing that this is Pedants' Corner, would you explain how you have a red star next to your user name, 1676 posts, but claim, 'I am new to Fool'..?
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Hello marge2005 -
Seeing that this is Pedants' Corner, would you explain how you have a red star next to your user name, 1676 posts, but claim, 'I am new to Fool'..?


Because she was new in 2005, when this thread started, to be resurrected after a gap of 3 years by another new Fool, phillipeo.

Scott.
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Obvious really! Thanks.
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This is one of my pet hates. It has nothing to do with 'Arses' This phrase is 'I can't be asked' It was originally from someone commenting on anothers attitude towards being asked to do something. The comment made to that person being 'DO IT ? YOU WON'T EVEN BE ASKED TO DO IT, WILL YOU?' So the orginal phrase was 'He can't be asked' (to do something) and then the person being told this has at some stage accepted this comment and says to people. 'Me, I can't be asked' (to do it) This has then come to sound like 'Can't be arsed', which doesn't mean anything in English.

This is completely and utterly wrong, as the OED makes clear.
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How about this (just a suggestion)?

"I can't be asked to do that," means "I shouldn't be expected to do that."

"I can't be arsed to do that," means "I can't be bothered to do that."
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To make an effort to do something, you have to "get off your arse"! "Can't be arsed" could mean don't feel like standing up and making the effort! We use this term in the north of England a lot! Hope this helps x
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This seems to be a thread that Fools can't be arsed replying to for years on end.
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It's can't be asked. Goes back more than half a century. I find it quite remarkable that the origin has been mixed up with other similar phrases such as the Irish one. The problem with most of the answers on the inter web is that most people are under 50 and think nothing existed before they were born. Most phrases originate long before you think and get copied and changed by all and sundry including celebrities. It's origin is what it says and it's my belief being 60 years old that it's from a song my parent sang. A bit like poor little Joe than when you research it on the inter web is totally different to the one my Dad sung.
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Yes my mum long since passed on said it and it was asked. She would be 100 years old now.
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It's can't be asked.

No, it isn't! I can't be arsed to go into the reasons why you're wrong. Just read the whole thread, dear. If you can be arsed!


Alan
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"It's origin is wha......."

oh, I can't be a**ed.

Lamp
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