You know, ‘piss’ is an unlikely word to be so useful but, even if it’s just a touch vulgar (like me, innit?) it has so many meanings.
In just the blogs I’ve read this weekend, several people have been pissed off – the off may be omitted by the Americans, but that seems to deprive them of the useful alternative meaning of pissed, meaning affected by alcohol.
This morning, I looked out at the sleet and commented that it was pissing down. Then there’s an easy task, which is a piece of piss. You can, if pissed off, tell someone to piss off – a nice difference there.
Then there is the original and real meaning of piss, which I presume is an example of French onomatopoeia.
Half an hour later Now I’m giving the matter some thought (well, it’s a Monday morning, what else is there to do?), there are lots more expressions.
Taking the piss. Pissing in the wind. Full of piss and vinegar. On the piss (on your way to being pissed, of course)**. Murph suggests, for a tall thin person, a long streak of piss, but I think he’s making that one up***.
A bit later again – ooh, how about piss-poor – is that, so poor you don’t have a pot to piss in or, alternatively, really pretty awful.
Several hours later thank you all for enhancing my vocabulary. A wicked pisser (pronounced “pissah”) is New England for very good or very bad. If used without the indefinite article “This is wicked pisser” it’s excellent. With the ind. art., “This is a wicked pisser” it’s bloody awful. Oh, excuse my language, please.
Martin reminds me that if you can piss you can paint and petrified streak of piss – is that another tall thin person, Martin? I’m neither, by the way, another clue to my appearance. Oh, there’s a photo of me in this blog somewhere, if you look for Venice photos.****
Wendz just pissed her pants, I fear. At least she pissed herself laughing, so it was worth the zig-zag puddle as she ran for the loo.
I worry what all this will do for my reputation in the search engines.
This one is still running – it’s now Tuesday morning and I should be getting ready to go to Norwich. From Stegbeetle – “There’s always what I did with any money I had during my teens and early twenties – pissing it up the wall. Obviously derived from the consequences of bulk intake of beer but meaning “to waste something”. And Martin contemptuously adds I would not piss on them if they were on fire, which is, of course, another fine use of the splendid subjunctive.
Tuesday night – what did I start here? Murph knows a mean (in the parsimonious sense) bugger who “wouldn’t give you the steam off his piss.“
Thursday afternoon – how silly of me – I’ve only just thought of this one! Mind you, none of you got it either – he couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery!
*I suspect only British readers will get this reference.. Ooh, at 8.30 pm, yet another update Yay! Here’s a link!!(!). It has the signature tune and everything!!(!)*****
**I’m assuming you don’t need definitions for these, do you?
***Murph, I apologise. I just checked it out on Google. It is entirely valid.
*****JonnyB has, of course, the copyright on !! and a repeat of the second !. It is more than my life saving’s worth to put !!!******