kicking ass and taking names?

Maybe this is silly question, but: I understand the part about kicking ass, but “taking names”? Where did that come from?


You wanna be able to tell the reporters whose ass you kicked, right?

Yeah, I guess I never thought about it that way!


Actually, during ww2, the germans had their names embroidered over thier breast pokets. After many soldiers killed them, they would tear this portion off of their shirts and keep them as momentos.

Note: The above statement is pure satire, and resemblence to actual occurences is purely coincidence.

To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.

I had always figured it was a military phrase where a non-com would kick your ass, then take your name down to put you on report–adding insult to injury.

I thought it was kicking the ass of one guy while taking the names of those who would be next in line for an ass-kicking.

I agree with aseymayo.
I’m sorry I’m not available to kick your ass, I’m currently in the process of kicking someone elses ass right now, but if you’d like to leave your name, I’ll get back to as soon as possible.

tomndebb…that is excatly what we used to do. Kicked some schmoes butt for breaking regulations and then added his name on the daily report. I know nasty, but hey, it builds character!

Falcon2 says, “I’m sorry I’m not available to kick your ass, I’m currently in the process of kicking someone elses ass right now,…”

This is my favorite theory so far by a long shot :slight_smile:


Two divergent thought trains going here:

1.) I’m busy kicking A, but I WILL get to you;

2.) I’m kicking your A now AND I’m gonna bust you (put you on a list, whatever…)

I had always interpreted the saying in the sense of #2, but who knows what the guy I first heard it from thought (oddly enough I remember where and when I first heard it 17 years ago). On thinking about it, none of my (by now many) experiences with using or hearing it would make either interpretation clearly preferred.

I always thought it meant that some people would only get their asses kicked, but others would get their names on a list. The list would be given to the higher-ups, and the people whose names were on it would be taken away in an unmarked van in the dead of night, and never heard from again.

Remember, I’m pulling for you; we’re all in this together.
—Red Green