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There are those who might consider the phrase obscene. But in the United States, the verb to "kick ass" - like the adjective, "kick-ass" - is widely considered appropriate for general conversation.
Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in Kentucky, where a high-profile campaign has been launched to change the state's official slogan from "Unbridled Spirit" to "Kentucky Kicks Ass."
And why not, when both the current American president and his predecessor have happily gone on the record deploying the term?
The respectability of the phrase was surely confirmed by the 2010 superhero comedy Kick-Ass, set in New York, which was a hit in the US and beyond. A much-anticipated sequel is due for release later this year.
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