I'm sure everyone here has heard the expression "right up the Wazoo", meaning "in large or excessive quantities, to disgusting excess". I was wondering if anyone knew exactly where "the Wazoo" actually is?
Both up and out can be used in conjunction with the wazoo, and both imply too much of something. In this context, the wazoo is a slang term for the anus. The etymology of the term is uncertain. I have always felt that up the wazoo implied a more unpleasant situation than out the wazoo, but I'm sure that is simply a matter of personal preference. [cough].
Wiktionary has identical definitions for each term, and also makes note of the similarity to the phrase up/out the ying-yang [sic].
up the wazoo
out the wazoo
An article in the Columbia Journalism Review provides some possible explanations for the origin of both the phrase and the word itself:
A post on grammarphobia.com mentions another possibility:
Wikipedia offers a different explanation but, sadly, offers no reference or citation of any kind:
Where I'm from in Georgia, "Out to Wazoo" means something that is so far away or intangible that someone would have to travel to "Wazoo" to get it. The University of Washington, aka, Wazzu, is in Pullman, WA, in the completely opposite corner of the country from Georgia. I don't know if these have similar origins, but that's how I have always understood the term.
protected by tchrist Oct 1 '12 at 3:53
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