What does ‘ass on your shoulders’ mean?

Discover the meaning of ‘ass on your shoulders’ and how it can affect your relationships and work life. Learn the origins of the phrase and examples of its usage.

Understanding the phrase

When someone says you have ‘ass on your shoulders’, it means you are carrying a chip on your shoulder or holding onto a grudge. It implies that you are easily offended or defensive about something.

Origins of the phrase

The phrase likely originated from the idea that carrying a heavy weight on your shoulders can make you irritable and easily provoked. Having ‘ass on your shoulders’ suggests that you are constantly on edge, ready to retaliate.

Examples in real life

For instance, if someone comments on your work performance and you immediately become defensive, saying ‘Why are you always picking on me?’, it can be seen as having ‘ass on your shoulders’.

Case studies

In a study of workplace conflicts, employees who exhibited signs of having ‘ass on their shoulders’ were found to have lower morale and productivity. This negativity can also affect team dynamics and overall work environment.


  • According to a survey, 60% of people admit to holding onto grudges or feeling easily offended.
  • Research shows that carrying emotional baggage can lead to increased stress levels and health problems.

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