/ (ˈɑːsɪˈvɜːsɪ) /
Save This Word!

adverb slang
backwards or upside down
in reverse
Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Word Origin for arsy-versy

C16: from arse + Latin versus turned, modelled on compounds like hurly-burly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

How to use arsy-versy in a sentence

  • One may reflect, for example, upon the way the woman's suffrage contro- versy has been conducted.

  • Prob'ly they're center-fire ca'tridges for rim-fire guns, or vicy-versy.

    The Wilderness Trail|Frank Williams
  • It ain't no longer to be endured, this shilly-shally, visy-versy politicks of yourn.

    Quodlibet|John P. Kennedy