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take the piss
- (UK, Template loop detected: Template:context 2) To ridicule or mock.
- Are you takin' the piss? You'll get yer 'ead bashed in.
- Nobody ever takes the piss out of the Irish these days.
- As this phrase may be found offensive, it is often bowdlerised to take the pee or censored in print as “take the p***” or, less commonly, “take the p—”. A common jocular euphemism is extract the urine, a formal equivalent of the literal meaning of the words.
Derived from the build-up of urine in the bladder puts pressure on the man's prostate gland, resulting in an erection. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, a man who was thought to be unnecessarily arrogant would be described as 'piss-proud'. If you were to ridicule someone for being too 'full of themself', you would 'take the piss' out of them. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A753527
- A similar phrase is found in a paragraph from the novel "Kidnapped" by Robert Louis Stevenson which may prove to be the phrase's original connotation: "In those days folk still believed in witches and trembled at a curse; and this one, falling so pat, like a wayside omen, to arrest me ere I carried out my purpose, took the pith out of my legs." http://classiclit.about.com/od/kidnappedstevenson/a/aa_kidquote.htm
Although I am still currently researching this claim, it is a logical deduction that the phrase "took the pith out" could easily have evolved into "took the piss out" especially when taking into consideration the heavy accent of a Brit or Scotsman of that era.
- French: se foutre de la gueule
- Italian: prendere per il culo, prendere in giro
- Spanish: bacilar, tomar el pelo
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