Robots up the wazoo

Yesterday’s Dilbert, one in a series on robot technology in the workplace:

… up their asses (though the pointy-haired boss doesn’t get to finish the phrase because the C.E.O. understands where he’s going and continues his own thought).

In any case, the C.E.O.’s idea is to have robots up the wazoo, both literally (up the employees’ anuses) and figuratively (to have lots and lots of them).

On the noun wazoo, from OED2:

US informal  the anus.  PHRASES up (or out) the wazoo  very much; in great quantity; to a great degree: he’s insured out the wazoo | Jack and I have got work up the wazoo already.

This is essentially the content of the OED3 (March 2006) entry, though there’s a bit more in the OED, which notes that wazoo is used

Freq. as a (euphemistic) substitute for ass in fig. phrases, as pain in the wazoo, etc.

and gives as its earliest cite in the sense ‘the buttocks, the anus’:

1961   Calif. Pelican (Univ. Calif., Berkeley) May (back cover)   Run it up yer ol’ wazoo!

and as its earliest cite in up (also out) the wazoo:

1981   Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald-Jrnl. 5 Jan. d8/3   There comes a time in performing when you just do it. You can have theory up the wazoo.

I would have thought that wazoo in up the wazoo was just another euphemistic substitute for ass — in up the ass ‘in great quantity’, which certainly occurs now. And probably it is; the difficulty is that the OED‘s entry for ass is mostly antique and lacks this use. NOAD2, which also lacks up (or outthe ass, merely mirrors the OED in this respect.

One Response to “Robots up the wazoo”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    I’m not sure it was before OED’s 1961, but it was a long time ago I learned (to the tune of the opening bars of Beethoven’s Archduke Trio):
    How is your old wazoo,
    Is it red, is it white, is it blue?

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