“A bairn with a biscuit erse could do that”
Posted: 10 June 2016 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This phrase came up recently on a football (soccer) fan forum for a team in my birthtown Edinburgh in Scotland. It was being used as a variant on the ‘trained chimp’ of even a trained chimp could do this (easy task). I have dim memories of the phrase being used by my dad probably in the seventies (the epoch’s seventies, not my dad’s!). ‘Bairn’ is a child in Scots English. ‘Erse’ is ‘arse’ or for the Leftponders, ‘ass’ or ‘butt’.

Well (or ‘so’ for the younger amongst us, ok I’ll stop the parentheticals now), of course someone also then wondered what the origin of the phrase was.

I just thought I’d give this forum’s members a chance to hazard a guess as to the origins. Eeehhh, without googling or other artifice! Just have a go from instinct!

Will later report back with the findings of the jury and worse.

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Posted: 10 June 2016 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I know biscuit can refer to things that are brown in color. So my guess is that it’s a reference to a child who can’t wipe himself. Something so simple a toddler could do it.

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Posted: 11 June 2016 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I can’t tell you much but I can tell you:

1/
The phrase appears in a book of Scottish slang ("Shut Yer Pus: The Wee Book of Scot’s Slang") published in 2004:

“Bairn with a biscuit arse: A hypothetical child who is more than capable of undertaking the simplest of tasks and employed to illustrate the shortcomings of others”

2/
Biscuit-arsed is a British slang term meaning dirty, e.g.
http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/

3/
“Bairn with a biscuit arse/erse” gets a tonne of Google hits on chatrooms etc going back at least a decade.

4/
Urban dictionary gives various definitions of “biscuit arsed/arse/ersed”: intoxicated, weak, confused, uncomfortable, “losing the feeling momentarily from your bum to your toes”.

5/
This video of a supposedly biscuit arsed dog
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxqaUj5Er2Q

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Posted: 11 June 2016 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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OP Tipping - 11 June 2016 06:14 AM

I can’t tell you much but I can tell you:

1/
The phrase appears in a book of Scottish slang ("Shut Yer Pus: The Wee Book of Scot’s Slang") published in 2004:

“Bairn with a biscuit arse: A hypothetical child who is more than capable of undertaking the simplest of tasks and employed to illustrate the shortcomings of others”

2/
Biscuit-arsed is a British slang term meaning dirty, e.g.
http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/

3/
“Bairn with a biscuit arse/erse” gets a tonne of Google hits on chatrooms etc going back at least a decade.

4/
Urban dictionary gives various definitions of “biscuit arsed/arse/ersed”: intoxicated, weak, confused, uncomfortable, “losing the feeling momentarily from your bum to your toes”.

5/
This video of a supposedly biscuit arsed dog
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxqaUj5Er2Q

Of them all, I think 4/ is the least accurate observation and 1/ the nearest in the present sense, OPT! I personally have never heard it used in sense 4/.

The root meaning appears to be what Dave earlier approached in his post. The image is of a biscuit, or rusk, smeared out around the ‘ersehole’ on the said ‘bairn’. This points to the youngness of the baby, and uses its almost-zero age as the worst possible case scenario for doing whatever you are on about. The bairn meanwhile does it no problem.

So to get back to the topic, something as new on earth as a ‘fresh’ baby had a chance of doing what your fave football player couldn’t; hitting a barn door, for example…

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Posted: 12 June 2016 03:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Green’s Dictionary of Slang defines biscuit arsed as “self-pitying and has this as the first cite:

1993 I. Welsh Trainspotting 12: Well, she nivir sais nowt tae me, ah whinge, biscuit-ersed.

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