Origins of an old expression – R18

A- He doesn’t know diddly squat.
B- He doesn’t know ‘diddly’ from ‘squat’.
C – He doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going.
D – He doesn’t know whether he’s Arthur or Martha.

Probably most of you will have heard of one at least of these expressions, each conveying the ignorance  or idiocy of ‘him’. Any one of them could be used for a ‘she’, in fact.

Have you ever considered the origins of the expressions themselves?

What seems to be simple amusement are in fact slightly ‘lewd’ in their origins. And they all share the same basic idea – ignorance of maleness vs femaleness, or of excretory orifices of either sex, or of one’s position or opinion in a new or strange situation.

‘Diddly’ was a euphemism in another generation in England for the penis, so someone who didn’t know diddly from squat had no idea of how a person being watched or admired would carry out what was required, as women of course have to ‘squat’ to urinate.
Then again, a man used his diddly to urinate but also would squat to defecate.

Doesn’t know diddly squat? A shorter version of B above.

Doesn’t know if he’s coming or going? Is he ejaculating or pissing? What a sorry specimen he is – or a really, really pre-adolescent.

He doesn’t know Arthur from Martha? He isn’t sure of the choices around him, as he isn’t sure whether he wants an Arthur or Martha for sexual intimacy, or if he, himself, is homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual.
Or, in a drunken moment and place, he’s selected a partner of the wrong sexual tendencies – a cross-dresser, perhaps.

 

This post arose from …
http://aidhoss.wordpress.com/2007/05/29/arthur-or-martha/g

if the link doesn’t work C-n-P the URL into the go-line of your browser

 

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