Press play and prick up your ears:
A general definition of Prick up your ears is “to begin listening attentively” – Listen hard! Listen up! – and derives from the ability of dogs and horses amongst other animals to lift up their ears, to make them stand erect, in order to hear more clearly.
Francis Bacon used the idiom in 1626 in his Essays on Fame: “Look how many feathers she hath, so many eyes she hath underneath; so many tongues; so many voices; she pricks up so many ears.”
The allusion to the erectness of, shall we say, a gentleman’s paraphernalia and the similar Cock an ear are the source of the slang terms ‘prick’ and ‘cock’ for penis.
It’s fair to say that Penis up your ears doesn’t quite work and it’s only when the Dutch word for penis is introduced (Pik) do we begin to get somewhere close to the gist of the matter in hand – Pik up your ears!
Pik = Penis = Prick
Now, having got the definitions straight, I must say that the word Prick is, I believe, much under-used. In my view, when it comes to profanity, Prick is up there with Cock, Fuck and Bollocks, all of which, incidentally, have a Dutch flavour to them.
So. Let us resurrect this ancient term of derision and contempt! Let us scatter our profanities willy-nilly upon the ever growing number of deserving candidates: Trump? He’s a prick. Cameron? He’s a prick too. Merkel? Now that’s a hard one. Oh go on then, yeah, she’s a prick. Obama? An incidental prick, maybe. Assad? Evil prick. Netanyahu? Out and out evil prick. . . . etc. etc. etc.
I swear the point is made.
Here’s some reviews of my latest book: Swell
© Rivenrod 2015 TubThumping by Chumbawamba Picture: “PrickPig” by WhoTheFuckCares