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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    pain in the neck

    When someone or something is annoying or disgusting, you say "He is a pain in the(my) neck". As I know, you can also say "He's a pain in my butt" but not "in the butt". Isn't it? What other similar expression can we say?

    A: Reading the manual is really a pain in the neck.
    B:I know, but you should read it.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: pain in the neck

    I use "the" for both expressions, not "my."

    What a pain in the neck! He's a total pain in the a**. Ugh. Doing that will be a real pain in the butt.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: pain in the neck

    It's more commonly "the", not "my", in BrE too.

    You're a real pain in the a*se.
    He's a pain in the bum.
    Your aunt was a pain in the neck.
    That job I had to do last week was a real pain. (Here "in the + part of the anatomy" is implied.)

  4. keannu's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: pain in the neck

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It's more commonly "the", not "my", in BrE too.

    You're a real pain in the a*se.
    He's a pain in the bum.
    Your aunt was a pain in the neck.
    That job I had to do last week was a real pain. (Here "in the + part of the anatomy" is implied.)
    This may be an embarrassing awkward question, but it's not a prank, I'm just curious what kind of pain the the butt(a** or bum) it means. I know pain in the neck can mean something like a thorn stuck in there, but for the butt, I guess it might be hemorrhoids?

  5. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: pain in the neck

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    This may be an embarrassing awkward question, but it's not a prank, I'm just curious what kind of pain the the butt(a** or bum) it means. I know pain in the neck can mean something like a thorn stuck in there, but for the butt, I guess it might be hemorrhoids?
    These are just idioms. Don't try to give them literal interpretations
    BTW, in your first post you mentioned that if something is annoying or disgusting, you can refer to it as a "pain in the neck." I would say that it can be used for something annoying, but not for something disgusting.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: pain in the neck

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    This may be an embarrassing awkward question, but it's not a prank, I'm just curious what kind of pain the the butt(a** or bum) it means. I know pain in the neck can mean something like a thorn stuck in there, but for the butt, I guess it might be hemorrhoids?
    They don't have any literal meaning so they're not attached to any specific real pain you might feel in any part of your anatomy. It's really just a saying, nothing to do with thorns or hemerrhoids or anything else painful or medical!

    I don't know why those two particular parts of the anatomy came to be connected with the phrase. Various etymology sites suggest that "pain in the neck" is first recorded in 1908 and "pain in the a*s" in about 1934 but no good reason is given.

  7. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: pain in the neck

    A French woman of my acquaintance believed for years that the expression was "a pen in the a*se".

  8. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: pain in the neck

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    A French woman of my acquaintance believed for years that the expression was "a pen in the a*se".
    I hope you were able to put her write.

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