A correspondent recently said this in the course of an e-mail to me: “I’m not asking you to piss in my pocket…” In context, it clearly meant “I’m not asking for compliments,” but I found the phrase curious, to say the least. I looked it up in the invaluable Cassell Dictionary of Slang and found:
piss in someone’s pocket, to phr. [1940s+] (Aus.) to curry favour, to be extremely close to someone, to ingratiate oneself.
Now, I’ve always admired the Aussie way with language (see this recent post on slang), but this completely baffles me. In what context could the phrase “piss in my pocket” come to have such a meaning? Or is pissing considered a sign of respect and admiration Down Under? I am grateful in advance for any elucidation.