Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

You run your ass off.

Can ass be the object of run? Why isn't it just "you run"?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You run your ass off

implies that you are running so hard that your buttocks fall off. Obviously that never happens, but it is a figurative way of stating that you are doing something to the point of exhaustion and beyond. It is a familiar trope used with other pursuits as well:

I worked my ass off on that project.

We're going to party our asses off once we graduate.

And so on.

share|improve this answer

I read it differently. You run your ass off because you work your butt muscles so hard that they begin to metabolize.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.