|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
Gottfried "Götz" von Berlichingen (c. 1480 – 23 July 1562), sometimes recorded Berlingen and also known as Götz of the Iron Hand, was a German Imperial Knight (Reichsritter), and mercenary. He was born around 1480 at Berlichingen in Württemberg to a noble family and earned his reputation by fighting in a number of wars over an impressive 47 year career. At the age of 24 he lost his right hand to cannonfire and wore a metal prosthetic for the rest of his life, which became his calling card.
He is perhaps best remembered for the vulgar expression "Er kann mich im Arsche lecken," attributed to him by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in a play based on his life. Götz's name is now used as a euphamism for the expression.