Pissant

Pissant

A pissant, also seen as piss-ant and piss ant, is one or the other of two specific types of ant. The word can also refer to an inconsequential, irrelevant, or worthless person, especially one who is irritating or contemptible out of proportion to his or her significance. Its origin is with "pismire", a 14th-century word for ant. [http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=19990331] [http://thenightwriterblog.powerblogs.com/posts/1152500340.shtml]

The original "pissant" is any of a certain group of large ant species, commonly called "wood ants," that make [http://vinsonlab.tamu.edu/former/john/formica.htm mounded nests] in British and European forests. The name "pissant" arises from the urine-like odor produced by their nesting material—pine straw and pine needles—and the formic acid that constitutes their venom. [http://www.takeourword.com/Issue102.html#Spotlight] "Formica rufa" is one such ant, but there are others with similar characteristics.

In the United States, the word pissant can refer to any small ant that infests a home. [http://www.pestproducts.com/pissant.htm]

As an insult

This word is also used for people who only think of themselves, cocky.Fact|date=March 2008

The word "pissant" is used as an insult in the United States. In conversations with his advisors during the Vietnam War, U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson often referred to Vietnam as "that damn piss-ant little country." [http://www.vva.org/TheVeteran/2001_01/rendezvous.htm] [http://www.johnkennethgalbraith.com/index.php?page=press&display=32&from=0] The word is used by lesser public figures as well: a Virginia politician once silenced a heckler by saying "I'm a big dog on a big hunt and I don't have time for a piss-ant on a melon stalk." [http://www.law.uoregon.edu/faculty/gepps/docs/unclebilly.html]

External links

* [http://www.bhikku.net/2005/01/08.html 17th century drawing of a "pismire"/pissant]


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См. также в других словарях:

  • pissant — piss ant , a. Worthless or of no significance. [vulgar] [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pissant — pissant, ante [pisɑ̃, ɑ̃t] adj. ÉTYM. XXe; de pisser. ❖ ♦ Pop. Très amusant, très comique. ⇒ Marrant …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • pissant — 1661, an ant, from first element of PISMIRE (Cf. pismire) (q.v.) + ANT (Cf. ant). Meaning contemptible, insignificant person is from 1903 …   Etymology dictionary

  • pissant — or piss ant [pis′ant΄] n. 1. Dial. an ant 2. Slang a person regarded as insignificant and contemptible adj. Slang insignificant and contemptible …   English World dictionary

  • pissant — /ˈpɪsænt/ (say pisant) Colloquial (taboo) –noun 1. fool; idiot: pompous old pissant. –phrase 2. drunk as a pissant, very drunk. 3. game as a pissant, very brave. 4. pissant around, to behave in a foolish or time wasting manner; fool around. {piss …   Australian-English dictionary

  • pissant — AND piss ant 1. n. a wretched and worthless person. □ Look, you silly pissant, beat it! □ Wally is such a little pissant! 2. mod. worthless. □ I don’t want this little pissant piece of pie. Give me a real piece …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • pissant — noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: pissant ant, from 1piss + ant Date: 1945 sometimes vulgar one that is insignificant used as a generalized term of abuse …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pissant — 1. noun /ˈpɪsænt/ a) An ant. Their super is a real pissant about break times. b) An insignificant person. 2. adjective /ˈpɪsænt/ Insignificant or un …   Wiktionary

  • pissant — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ noun Etymology: piss (I) + ant chiefly dialect : ant * * * pissance, ans, pissant obs. Sc. ff. puissance, puissant …   Useful english dictionary

  • pissant — /pis ant /, n. 1. Slang (vulgar). a person or thing of no value or consequence; a despicable person or thing. 2. Obs. an ant. adj. 3. Slang (vulgar). insignificant or worthless. Also, piss ant. [1655 65, in sense ant ; PISS + ANT, prob. orig. on… …   Universalium


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