One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
adverb & adjectiveinformal
In a confused, disordered, or perversely contrary state or manner.as adjective ‘they got things all arsy-versy’
- ‘As one of the characters says (maybe my favourite line), it's an arsy-versy world.’
- ‘I try to do it in a kind of arsy-versy way with my system of having an assistant director.’
- ‘The creator of these arsy-versy architectonic visions aims explicitly for ambiguity. ‘What fascinates me is how the photographic image can be manipulated.'’
- ‘Fourthly, it seems to me, Chris Harman's presentation of his adversaries is arsy-versy.’
- ‘This book presents waste as an aesthetic category that introduces an arsy-versy world where detritus is precious.’
Mid 16th century: from arse + Latin versus ‘turned’, the addition of -y to both elements forming a jingle.
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