This is a piece of dialogue about a colonoscopy from the series "Outnumbered" s03e03:

— Yes, but how does it get inside your insides?

— Well, they put it up your bottom.

Why not "they put it up through your bottom"?


The phrase "up your bottom" is a standard phrase, perhaps an idiom, in UK English for "inserted anally". The phrase "up your rear" is perhaps more common in US English. Compare "up the spout" for a bullet in the chamber of a gun, ready to fire (although this phrase has other senses as well).

As with many other idioms, the phrase is not entirely logical, and could be phrased otherwise, but commonly is not. That is just how it is said.

  • In the US, I think “butt” or “rear-end” might be more likely than “rear” if it were being used in an informal conversation avoiding being vulgar. The US is a big place though and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone from a different part of the country corrected me. – ColleenV parted ways Sep 16 '19 at 20:46
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    @ ColleenV I am a native of the US, having lived in the Northeast and the upper mid-West. I think "Butt" is a bit more vulgar than either rear or rear-end, but all are used and none are generally taboo or thought obscene. Usage varies a good deal. But no one says 'put it up through..' in my experience or reading. – David Siegel Sep 16 '19 at 20:50
  • No, unless they’re saying something along the lines of they’re going to stick their boot so far up your back-end you’re going to be able to smell their toes. Even then, nothing goes “through”-it’s either “up” or “out”. – ColleenV parted ways Sep 16 '19 at 20:56
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    When I was a 7 year old in South London, in 1959, boys wanting to sound 'tough' would say "I'll knock your teeth so far down your throat that you'll have to stick your toothbrush up your arse to clean them". Outside of the earshot of adults, of course. – Michael Harvey Sep 16 '19 at 21:36

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