Painter's ass

Not mine, I assure you. But I have been wondering about this word. Well, here's the explanation:

“A painter's ass” is not a phrase that immediately brings to mind an accessory to the artist's profession. But easel comes to us from the Dutch word ezel, meaning “ass, donkey.” The Dutch word was eventually extended to mean “an upright frame for displaying or supporting something,” in the same way that the English word horse has come to mean “a piece of gymnastic equipment with an upholstered body.” Developments such as these illustrate the playfulness or wit sometimes introduced into language when speakers use perceived similarities between two objects to name one of them. {source}

Monday, January 16, 2006 posted by Wardi @ 4:16 PM