American contraction and corruption of Arse Hole (from Old English ærs, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch aars and German Arsch).
Literally refers to the anus but used to refer to a stupid, irritating, or contemptible person:
If it can be conceived as music, it can be executed as music, and presented to an audience in such a way that they will perceive it as music: "Look at this. Ever seen one of these before? I built this for you. What do you mean, 'What the fuck is it?' It's a goddam ETUDE, asshole."
References in Zappa's music
- Broken Hearts Are For Assholes
- Dickie's Such An Asshole
- Introduction to Black Napkins in 1975: "This is... this is an instrumental song, it's a tender, slow, moving ballad sort of song that cares with it the implied message that the complete woman must also have an asshole..."
- Briefcase Boogie: "I'm gonna stuff it up my asshole and ride the briefcase again"
- The Talking Asshole
- Lonesome Cowboy Burt (Swaggart Version): "My name is Swaggart: i'm an asshole" (...) "What an asshole!"
Zappa about the topic
Zappa: "I don't know. Would you presume that "asshole" has a negative connotation? Maybe she likes assholes. Hitler was an asshole. He just had a good p.r. department. Also a good tailor." - Quoted from Dialogue: Frank Zappa, COQ, February 1974.
"If the day comes when there are no assholes left in the world, you can believe I will come up with something else to talk about. But I don't think that day will come because God, in his infinite wisdom, has provided us with an endless supply of assholes. They're here to stay. The asshole is a natural phenomenon. All the epoxy in the world won't seal these assholes." - Quoted from He's Only 38 and He Knows How to Nasty, Clark Peterson, Relix magazine, November 1979.