I am spending one month in the US and it seems that everything is "big ass", "lame ass", and "crazy ass". What is the purpose of modifying every adjective with "ass"? Is this an Americanism or some global trend which I have yet to notice (I don't watch television). Where did this phenomenon begin?
Medicine before the disease: I have seen the relevant XKCD comic.
EDIT: I ust found this from another E.SE page. It does discusses the phenomenon but does not mention the origin. Is this phenomenon not new?