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Few understand how the word “half-assed

(meaning doing a shoddy job)

came about…

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It has an honorable history¹.

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For more use the DOOR.

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[MORE]

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   “If we carry out a task in a half-assed fashion then we are not concentrating fully or putting much thought or effort into it. The original expression was half adze and had been used for centuries prior to the slight variation in pronunciation. An adze was, and still is² an axelike tool with a curved blade that was used by carpenters to shape wood. The story goes that if you were wealthy and could afford fine furniture, you would buy pieces that had been finished completely, including the back and other unseen areas, such as those placed against a wall. These unfinished and cheaper jobs were known as “half adze” work.”

   (Thought you’d like to know…)

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   ¹ This post relies heavily upon Black Sheep and Lame Ducks: Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Every Day by Albert Jack (a Perigee Book, 2007).

   ² “Still is” a good Scrabble word, too…