Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shit n.

[OE scite/MLG Schite, dung + OE scitte, diarrhoea; SE 14C–late 17C, henceforth sl.]

1. in context of excrement.

(a) [late 17C+] excrement.

(b) [1920s+] an act of defecation.

2. pertaining to individuals (or objects).

(a) [late 19C+] a contemptible person; often in combs., e.g. little shit, dumb shit.

(b) [1960s+] (orig. US black) constr. with the, of things or people, the best, the ideal, the ultimate.

(c) [1980s+] a person, irrespective of qualities.

(d) [1990s+] a boastful, pretentious person, a braggart.

(e) (US black) oneself.

3. in fig./abstract uses.

(a) [late 19C+] fig. anything seen as unpleasant and disgusting.

(b) [1910s+] an unpleasant situation; usu. as phr. in (the) shit

(c) [1910s+] problems, difficulties.

(d) [1920s] (US) constr. with the, something bad.

(e) [1920s+] any inferior, rubbishy, shoddy or pretentious thing.

(f) [1930s+] any thing (material or otherwise), irrespective of its actual quality, ‘stuff’.

(g) [1940s+] nothing; thus in negative, anything, something; usu. as not mean (a) shit, not matter, not mean anything; not worth a shit phr.

(h) [1940s+] abuse, offensive and contemptuous treatment, usu. as give someone shit or take shit

(i) [1960s+] (orig. US black) a general abstract term, a thing, a situation, an opinion or idea; the precise meaning varies as to the context, e.g. I don’t like this shit, I don’t like what’s happening.

(j) [1960s+] in abstract use, one’s possessions, one’s actions, one’s life.

4. in senses of communication.

(a) [1920s+] nonsense, rubbish, lies, prevarications; often in talk shit

(b) [1970s] influence.

(c) [1990s+] (negative) information.

5. with ref. to drugs.

(a) [1940s+] (also shite) heroin, occas. morphine.

(b) [1950s+] cannabis.

(c) [1950s+] (also shite) any form of drug.

(d) [1970s+] cocaine; crack cocaine.

(e) methamphetamine.

6. [1960s+] (US) money.

7. [1960s+] as a general negative intensifier, e.g. would I shit! did she shit!

8. in Und. or prison uses.

(a) [1970s+] (US Und.) gunfire.

(b) [1980s+] (Aus. prison) prison food.

(c) [1980s+] (Aus. prison) tobacco.

(d) [1980s+] (US) a criminal.

(e) [1980s+] (US Und.) any form of weapon.

(f) [1990s+] (US prison) violence; a prison riot.

(g) [2000s] (US prison) HIV or AIDS.

In derivatives

beshit (adj.)

fouled with excrement.

shitless (adj.)

see separate entry.

shitted (adj.)

[1990s+] terrified.

Shitville (n.) [-ville sfx1 ]

[1970s] (US) a very out-of-the-way, rural place.

In compounds

shitabed (n.) (also shite-a-bed)

[mid-17C] a general term of abuse; also as adj.


see separate entries.

shit ass

see separate entries.

shitbag (n.)

1. [late 19C–1910s] the stomach; thus shitbags, the guts.

2. [1920s+] (also shite-bag) a general pej. term, whether of people or things; occas. attrib.

3. attrib. use of sense 2.

4. [1990s+] (US black/teen) a colostomy bag.

shitball (n.)

[1960s+] (US) a general term of abuse.


see separate entries.

shit-box (n.) [SE box/box n.1 (1d)] [1980s+]

1. (Aus. prison) a portable latrine.

2. a run-down vehicle.

3. attrib. use of sense 2.

4. anything bad or inferior.


see separate entries.

shit-breath (n.)

[2000s] (US) a general term of abuse.

shit-breech (adj.)

[mid-17C] a general term of abuse.

shit bucket (n.) [initial letters]

[1970s] (S.Afr.) the Special Branch.


see separate entries.


see separate entries.

shit-cart (n.)

[1920s] a nightsoil cart; a refuse lorry; also attrib.

shit-catchers (n.) (also poop-catchers)

[1930s] (Aus.) knickerbockers, any form of notably baggy trousers.

shit-chute (n.) (also shitshoot)

1. [1960s+] the anus.

2. [2000s] a disgusting, filthy place.

shit-coloured (adj.)

[1920s–50s] (US black) a derog. term applied to a light-skinned black person who tries to pass as white.

shit creek (n.)

see separate entry.

shit-cunt (n.) [cunt n. (4)]

[1990s+] (UK black) a general term of abuse.

shit detail (n.) [SE detail, a job]

[1940s+] (orig. milit.) any unpleasant or dirty task.

shit-disturber (n.)

1. [20C+] a malicious gossip.

2. [1970s+] (Can.) a trouble-maker.


see separate entries.

shit-eating grin (n.)

see separate entry.


see separate entries.

shit factory (n.)

[1990s+] (US) the buttocks.

shit-farm (n.)

[1980s] (Aus.) a unpleasant, worthless place.

shit-features (n.) [-features sfx]

[2000s] (N.Z.) an unattractive person.

shit-fight (n.)

1. [1990s+] a bitterly contested struggle, e.g. a sporting encounter.

2. chaos; a chaotic situation.


see separate entries.

shitfit (n.)

[1950s+] (US) an emotional outburst.


see separate entries.

shit-gibbon (n.)

[2000s+] (US) a general insult, usu. characterizing Donald Trump.


see separate entries.

shitheap (n.) [1960s+]

1. a dirty, unpleasant, disgusting place or object.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

3. a contemptible person.


see separate entries.


see separate entries.

shithook (n.) [note US milit. use shithook, CH-47 ‘Chinook’ helicopter] [1960s+] (orig. US campus)

1. a foolish, clumsy person.

2. an unpleasant, aggressive individual.

shit-hooks (n.) [SE hook/hook n.1 (1a)]

[1970s] (US campus) the hands.

shit hot

see separate entries.


see separate entries.

shit-hunter (n.)

[late 19C–1900s] a sodomite.

shit jacket (n.)

[1970s] (US black) an outside lavatory.


see separate entries.

shit-licking (adj.)

[1970s] (US) a term of abuse, applied to homosexuals.

shit list (n.) (also s-list)

[1940s+] a list of people one considers distasteful, untrustworthy and otherwise unacceptable; similarly extended to places.

shitload (n.)

see separate entries.

shit lover (n.) [sense 1a, i.e. a coprophile]

[1960s] (US) a term of abuse.

shitman (n.)

1. [1980s] (Aus.) one who gossips maliciously.

2. [1980s+] (Aus. prison) an unimportant person.

3. [1980s+] (Aus. prison) thus, an assistant, one who is low(er) in the hierarchy.

shit-pan (n.)

1. [1940s] a general term of abuse.

2. [1990s+] the anus.

shitpaper (n.)

[1970s+] (Aus./US) lavatory paper.

shit pie (n.)

[1990s+] nothing.

shit-pit (n.) (also shite pit, shit pen) [1990s+]

1. a lavatory.

2. any dirty and/or disgusting place.


see separate entries.

shitpull (n.)

[2000s] (US) a struggle.

shit-ringer (n.) [SAusE ringer, a stockman]

[1940s+] (Aus.) a stockman.

shitsack (n.)

see separate entry.

shit sandwich (n.)

1. [1960s+] a humbling experience; ‘humble pie’.

2. [1980s] (N.Z.) homosexual anal intercourse.

shit-scared (adj.)

see separate entry.

shit-shark (n.)

[mid–late 19C] a night-soil collector.

shit-shoe (n.) (also shit-shod)

[late 19C] one who has trodden in excrement.

shit-show (n.)

[1970s++] a disaster; chaos.


see separate entries.

shitsmacked (adj.)

[2010s] flabbergasted.

shit-sniffer (n.)

[1980s] a term of abuse.

shit-squirting (adj.)

[1980s] (US) dirty, disgusting.

shit-stabber (n.) (also shit-puncher, shit-stirrer) [1960s+] (orig. gay)

a male homosexual.

shit-stabbing (n.) [backform. f. shit-stabber ]

[1990s+] an act of anal intercourse, usu. in a male homosexual context.

shitstain (n.)

[1990s+] (orig. US) a fool, thus a general insult.

shitstem (n.) [SE system]

[2000s] (UK black) the white power structure.

shit-stick (n.) [SE stick/stick n. (1a)]

1. [late 16C; 20C Aus.] a contemptible person.

2. [1980s] (US) the penis, esp. when used for anal intercourse.

3. (US) an inferior cigarette.

shit-stirrer (n.)

1. [late 19C+] a malicious gossip, a trouble maker; a political activist.

2. see shit-stabber

shit-stirring (n.) (also shit-disturbing)

[late 19C+] gossiping maliciously in the hope of causing trouble.

shit stompers (n.) [stompers n. (1)] [1970s+] (US campus)

1. cowboy boots.

2. cowboys.

shit-stopper (n.)

in pl., very tight-fitting jeans.

shitstorm (n.)

[1940s+] (US) a very confused or frightening situation.

shit street (n.)

see separate entry.

shit-sucking (adj.)

[1990s+] (US) an abusive intensifier; thus shit-sucker n.

shit-talker (n.)

[1990s+] (US black) one who talks nonsense.

shit ticket (n.)

[1990s+] (US juv.) a sheet of lavatory paper.

shitwad (n.)

[2000s] (US) an unpleasant person; also attrib.

shitwagon (n.)

[1970s+] (US) a second-rate, run-down automobile.

shitweasel (n.)

[1970s+] a term of abuse, of a person or an unpleasant thing.

shit wig (n.)

[early 19C] a non-specific term of abuse.

shitwork (n.)

[1960s+] unpleasant, unwanted, prob. dirty occupations.

shit-worth (n.) (also shit’s-worth)

[1920s+] a derisory amount.

Verbs pertaining to lit. or fig. uses of excrement

In phrases

do a shit

[mid-19C+] to defecate.

eat shit

see separate entry.

get one’s shit blown away (also get one’s shit blown backwards)

[1960s+] (US) to be killed.

get one’s shit hard

[2000s] to make one excited.

go like shit off a stick (also go like shit through a canebreak)

[1970s+] to move very fast, of a person or vehicle.

have a shit

[1980s] (Aus./S.Afr.) to become enraged.

have shit in one’s blood

[1970s] (US) to be a coward.

have shit on one’s liver (also have dirt on one’s liver, have shit on the liver) [SE liverish, testy]

[1930s+] (Aus.) to be in a bad temper.

have someone’s shit on a stick

[1960s+] (US) to place at an extreme disadvantage.

lose one’s shit

[1980s+] (US campus) to act without restraint.

push shit uphill

1. [1980s+] to work, to talk etc. unsuccessfully, against the odds.

2. [1980s+] (US gay) to have anal intercourse.

put the shit up (also put the shits up, put the shit up someone’s neck)

[1940s+] to terrify.

take a shit

1. [1920s+] to defecate.

2. [1960s–70s] in fig. use, to cause trouble for, to attack.

Verbs pertaining to trouble or ill treatment

catch (the) shit (orig. US)

1. [1950s+] to be scolded or told off, to get into trouble.

2. [1960s+] to suffer physical harm.

drop (the) shit on

[1970s] (US) to give someone a difficult time, to persecute.

fall in the shit (also fall in)

[mid-19C+] to find oneself in difficulties.

get in(to) the shit (also be in the crap, get in the cactus, ...crap)

[1960s+] to get into trouble.

give someone shit [1960s+] (orig. US)

1. to cause trouble for someone.

2. to nag, to criticize.

hit some shit (also get into shit, hit the shit) [SE hit, to encounter]

[1960s+] (US black) to encounter problems.

land someone in the shit (also dump someone in it, …the shit, land someone in it, put someone in the shit)

[1950s+] to bring trouble to someone else.

put shit in the game

see under game n.

put (the) shit on (also put a shit on) [1960s]

1. (Aus./US) to deride, to attack verbally.

2. (US black) to take advantage; to trick, to deceive.

raise shit

[1990s+] (US) to cause trouble, to make a fuss.

start shit

[1950s+] (US black) to initiate trouble, to start an argument.

take shit (also take stuff)

[1950s+] (orig. US) to suffer (and accept) humiliation, annoyance or (in weak form) teasing; often as take no shit.

Verbs pertaining to objects or situations with negative connotations

In phrases

feel like shit (also feel like a pile of shit, feel shit)

[1940s+] to feel very bad, whether emotionally or physically (cf. feel shitty under shitty adj.1 ).

go from sugar to shit

[1960s] of a place and its standards, to decline severely.

go to shit

[1970s+] to decline, to collapse.

look like shit (also look like shit on a dumpling) [1970s+]

1. of a person, to appear extremely unwell, whether through actual illness or through the effects of drink or drugs.

2. of an object, to look in very poor condition.

3. in fig. use.

poke shit (at)

[1980s] (Aus.) to denigrate.

take the shit with the sugar

[1990s+] (Aus.) to accept that one must have both bad and good experiences.

treat like shit

[1970s+] to treat in a very unpleasant manner, deservedly or not.

Verbs pertaining to lying or deception

talk shit

1. [1940s+] (US black) to seduce, to ‘chat up’ (see chat v.1 (1)).

2. [1960s+] (orig. US, also talk shit at the moon) to talk nonsense.

3. [1960s+] (US campus) to criticize someone behind their back.

4. [1960s+] (US) to boast, to brag.

5. [1960s+] (US black) to talk slang.

6. [1960s+] (US black, also tell someone shit) to talk aggressively, to challenge verbally; thus shit-talking adj., talking in such a way.

Verbs based on a general abstract thing or situation

cut shit

1. [1970s+] (orig. US, also catch shit) to impress, to influence, to make a difference.

2. [2000s] (US campus) to act eccentrically.

fuck someone’s shit up

[2000s] (US) to beat someone up.

get off someone’s shit

[1970s] (US) to cease bothering someone; as imper., get off my shit, leave me alone.

get one’s shit off

[2010s] to do something successfully, competently.

get one’s shit together [1970s+] (orig. US black)

1. to calm down, to plan sensibly.

2. to be competent.

have one’s shit together (also have all one’s shit in one bag, keep one’s shit together)

[1960s+] (orig. US black) to be in full control of a situation.

hit one’s shit up

[1980s] (US) to inscribe one’s name and gang affiliation on a wall.

know one’s shit

[1990s+] (US) to be very competent.

play that shit

[1950s+] (US black) to act in a particular way; usu. in negative as I don’t play that shit, I don’t do that.

pull shit

[1960s+] (US black) to do something devious, underhand, treacherous.

put shit in the game

see under game n.

rip shit

see separate entry.

General verbs

get shit of

[20C+] to get rid of something or someone.


In phrases

as shit (adv.) (also as shite)

[1960s+] a general intensifer, e.g. mad as shit.

for shit (adv.) [1940s+] (orig. US)

1. whatsoever, at all, in any way.

2. very badly; also as adj., awful.

from shit to Shinnecock

[1970s] (US) of any sort whatsoever, across the entire spectrum.

good as shit (adj.)

[1970s] (US campus) very good.

like shit (adv.)

1. [1940s+] very fast, enthusiastically.

2. [1970s+] badly.

3. [1990s+] very much.

like shit off a shovel (adv.) (also like spit on a hot griddle, …steam on piss)

[late 19C+] promptly, immediately, fast.

like shit on a shoe (adv.)

[1980s+] extremely closely.

like shit through a goose (adv.) (also like crap through a goose, shite out of a goat, …shit through a tin horn)

[20C+] extremely fast.

like stink on (a) shit (adv.) (also like funk on a skunk, …stank on shit, …stink on glue)

[1960s+] (US black) very closely, extremely intimately.

soft as shit and twice as nasty

[late 19C+] a general pej. phr. used of anyone the speaker dislikes.

so thin you can smell shit through them

[late 19C+] a phr. used of a very slim person.

Proverbial uses

bet a pound to a pinch of shit (v.)

[1940s+] a statement denoting the speaker’s absolute confidence, whether in a real bet or merely a point of view.

break one’s shit string (v.) [instead of excrement, there is blood]

[1960s+] (US gay) to have violent anal intercourse.

don’t get your shit hot

[20C+] don’t get over-excited.

he wouldn’t say ‘shit’ even if he had a/his mouth full of it

[20C+] (Can.) a phr. used of an especially mealy-mouthed, hypocritical person.

I could use her shit for toothpaste (also I’d eat a mile of shit if it led to her asshole, I’d like to use her shit for toothpaste, I/he would eat a yard of her shit for a lick at her hole)

[1950s+] a hugely exaggerated phr. implying the extent of one’s infatuation.

I’m so hungry I could eat a shit sandwich – only I don’t like bread

[1950s+] (Aus.) a phr. implying the intensity of one’s starvation.

same shit, different day (also same shit; s.s.d.d.)

[1980s+] (orig. US black) life goes on as normal, with no surprises, good or bad.

shit comes in piles

[1990s+] (US black) problems always come at the same time, rather than one by one.

shit happens

[1980s+] an all-purpose statement of resignation in the face of life’s vicissitudes, i.e. these things happen; also euph. i.e. cite 1994.

shit hits the fan, the (also crap hits the fan, the)

[1940s+] the difficulties start to happen, esp. when such problems have been expected to occur sooner or later; usu. used with when. Euph. alternatives include the brown stuff hits the fan, the ca-ca…, the cheese and chutney…, the doo-doo…, the manure…, the merde…, the spit…, the stuff…, the sushi…, the solids hit the air conditioning, the pooh hits the pukka wallah.

ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag

[20C+] (US) a phr. describing anything considered ugly, esp. someone obese or overweight.

think one’s shit don’t stink (v.) (also act like one’s shit don’t stink) [Partridge claims that this dates back to ‘later C.19’ but offers no proof and the evidence is lacking]

[1960s+] (orig. US) to behave affectedly and in an arrogant manner.

think one’s shit smells like ice-cream (v.)

[1940s] (US) to behave affectedly and in an arrogant manner.

you don’t know whether you want a shit or haircut

[20C+] a phr. used to indicate that a person is very stupid.

you’re all about – like shit in a field

[20C+] you’re a useful, alert, efficient person – like hell you are!


not a shit show

[1980s+] (N.Z.) no chance.

not fit to shovel shit (adj.)

[1940s+] of a person, absolutely worthless or incompetent.

not know from shit (v.)

[1970s] to be completely ignorant.

not know shit from apple butter (v.) (also …from beans, …clay, …(a) salami, …tunafish, can’t tell owlshit from putty without a map, not know dung from honey, not know sheepshit from cherry-seed) [1940s+]

1. to have no idea about a topic.

2. to be particularly wrong in an opinion.

not know shit from Shinola (v.) [Shinola, a brand of black shoe polish] [1940s+] (US)

1. (also not know shit from shine, …toothpaste, not know cattle from Shinola, ...crap from Shinola) to have no idea about a topic.

2. (also not know a shin from Shinola) to be particularly wrong in an opinion; ad hoc vars. exist.

not say shit about Shinola (v.)

[1940s+] (US) to say nothing.

not worth a shit

see separate entry.

up the shit (adj.)

[1980s] (Aus.) useless, unappealing.

Fig. general phrases

In phrases

ain’t shit

[1950s+] (US black) used of someone/something useless, worthless or of absolutely no value.

and shit

[1960s+] (orig. US black) a general abstract term, usu. thrown into the end of a sentence, similar to you know phr.

between a shit and a sweat

(US) in an unpleasant situation.

crock of shit (n.)

see separate entry.

in a shit

[2000s] (N.Z.) in a bad mood.

in (the) shit

[1920s+] in serious trouble; extended as in deep shit.

line of shit (n.)

[1920s+] nonsensical talk, usu. intended to persuade.

my shit

[2000s] (US black) an apology, ‘my mistake’.

puddle of shit (n.)

[1940s+] rubbish, nonsense, anything or anyone unappealling, worthless.

seven kinds of shit (n.) (also seven colours of shit, ...shades of shit(e), ...sorts of shit, ...types of shit(e), ...kinds of tar)

[20C+] intense unpleasantness; usu. with knock/kick/beat/batter/lick/thump..., to beat severely.

shit for brains (n.)

see separate entry.

shit-for-nothing (adj.) (also shit for the catfish, shit-for-wage)

[1980s] (US) third-rate, of very poor quality.

shit of a thing (n.)

[2000s] (N.Z.) something unacceptable or unpleasant.

shit on (adj.)

[1960s+] humiliated.

shit on a string (n.)

[1960s+] something extremely hard or impossible to do.

shit on a shingle (n.) (also cream on a shingle, SOS, unmentionable on shingles) [shingle n. (1)]

1. [1930s+] (mainly US milit.) minced beef on toast.

2. [1980s+] as an excl. of astonishment.

shit on a stick (n.)

1. [1950s+] (US, also you-know-what on a stick) someone important.

2. [1980s] (US black) a self-appointed tough guy, more words than action.

3. a phr. used of someone one who is (looking) unwell or unhappy.

shit on wheels (n.)

[1950s+] (orig. US) an important person, a person who thinks that they are important.

to shit (adv.)

[1910s+] a general intensifier.

up in someone’s shit

[2000s] (US black) interfering, ‘poking one’s nose in’.

up the Dutch shit

[2000s] (N.Z.) facing serious trouble.

up the shit

[1980s] (US campus) in large quantities.

what’s the shit?

[1960s] (US) what’s going on, what’s happening?

with the shits

[2010s] (US black) in agreement, supportive.

In exclamations

go plait your shit!

[1960s] a general excl. of dismissal.

I’ll be dipped in shit!

[1960s+] (US) an excl. of surprise.

like shit!

[1980s+] a sarcastic retort of dismissal.

no shit!

see separate entry.

shit howdy!

[1970s] (US) a mild excl.

shitlaw! [? shit! excl. + Lord!]

[1980s+] (US campus) a general excl. of annoyance.

shit oh dear! (also shit oh dearie oh!)

[2000s] (N.Z.) an excl. of regret, sorrow.