Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shitty adj.1

also shitey, shitty-ass, shittypants

1. covered in excrement; generally filthy.

[UK]‘J.H. Ross’ Mint (1955) 122: Up, down: make the clinkers rattle round your shitty arse-holes.
[US] in A.W. Read Lexical Evidence 75: This Shithouse stinks like shit Because it is so shitty .
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 79: The asshole was shitty.
[UK]‘Count P. Vicarion’ Bawdy Ballads Intro.: I can remember no more of her song than its lilting refrain: ‘Oh how did Edith ever / Get so shitty round the titty?’.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 55: I’m gonna be unloading shitty diapers at forty years old.
[UK]Barltrop & Wolveridge Muvver Tongue 75: Who changed your shitty napkins when you were a kid? I bet it wasn’t your old man.
[Aus]A. Weller Day of the Dog 138: Trust Jamie to give him a shitty job when the big bastard is in a shitty mood, thinks Doug. The underneath of the shed is knee-deep in dried sheep droppings.
[US]S. King It (1987) 21: Finally Bill said one of the forbidden words – he accused George of being a big brown shitty a-hole.
[Ire](con. 1930s) L. Redmond Emerald Square 129: You could not escape the sight of nappy changes and shitty sheets.
[US]R. Shell Iced 34: I know my clothes are shitty.
[US]‘Master Pimp’ Pimp’s Rap 161: Nigger, I was dressing and ressing when you were wearing shitty diapers.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 225: Foldin the bog roll over the shitty part after yuv wiped once so you can av another clean surface.
[US]G. Hayward Corruption Officer [ebk] cap. 33: He held up the bundle and opened the shitty package.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 74: In the bedroom you’ve goat a shitey divan.

2. unpleasant, disgusting; mediocre, second-rate.

[US]E. Hemingway letter 7 Sept. in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 216: I [...] sent the Alpine Idyll to the New Masses which is the most puerile and shitty house organ I’ve ever seen.
[US]E. Hemingway letter 18 July in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 300: I’m glad as hell you liked the start of the book – if it seems to go shitty later on don’t despair because that is emasculation by the magazine authorities.
[US](con. 1917–19) Dos Passos Nineteen Nineteen in USA (1966) 364: Wherever you are the seaman gets the s––y end of the stick.
[US] ‘She Will Be Coming Around the Mountain’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 51: This is a shitty way to frig.
[US]J.T. Farrell World I Never Made 477: ‘It was just a damn shitty accident,’ Bill griped.
[UK]P. Larkin letter 23 June in Thwaite Sel. Letters (1992) 14: I am merely starting a letter to you, having 5 minutes ago stamped out of the Playhouse & a shitty play.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 131: The shittiest dregs of humanity that ever stood on two legs.
[US]Kerouac letter 15 Apr. in Charters I (1995) 471: Please don’t go thinking ‘Here’s old shittypants Kerouac again coming on with the buddy buddy talk’.
[UK]C. Lee diary 22 Mar. in Eight Bells & Top Masts (2001) 91: He likes [apprenctices] to stay out on the wing of the bridge, especially if the weather’s shitty.
[US]A. Baraka Slave in Three Negro Plays (1969) Act I: I mean if this shitty town is being flattened ... let it. It needs it.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 192: Same shitty coat. She wears it all winter.
[US]‘Tom Pendleton’ Iron Orchard (1967) 136: That man is the shitiest excuse for a human being I ever run up against.
[US]L. Wolf Voices from the Love Generation 65: Then I would do the final paper, which would be longer but shittier.
[US](con. 1950s) D. Goines Whoreson 170: Your brother is the reason that my trap money is going to be shitty?
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 13: We brought you down from shitty Queensland.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 10: You stare at a couple of hundred metres of shitty-ass marsh.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 273: I apologize for all the shitty things I’ve been saying about you.
[US]W.T. Vollmann Whores for Gloria 34: It was very hot. On the sidewalk, a shitty kleenex did not stir.
[Aus]P. Temple Bad Debts (2012) [ebook] Stop and tell him thanks for giving you shitty directions.
[US]Hip-Hop Connection Dec. 8: The shitty album by their second-rate crew.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 49: Finally, we adjourn for coffee. Shitey wee fuckin buscuits, that’s all they give us.
[UK]Guardian Guide 14–20 Aug. 26: When you do get toothache it reminds you how shitty it must have been to have lived a couple of hundred years ago.
[UK]N. Griffiths Sheepshagger 1: Fuckin millions-a people have a shitey upbringing and they don’t turn into killers.
[Aus]P. Carey Theft 3: A lot of shitty stuff did happen.
[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 6: Junkies this far gone create their own shitty climate.
[Aus]J.J. DeCeglie Drawing Dead [ebook] It was a real shitty room. An honest to God heap. Shitty paintjob, shitty bed, shitty carpet, shitty curtains, shitty TV, shitty furniture, shitty everything.
[UK]I. Welsh Decent Ride 174: Never mind shitey hurricans, ah’ll tell ye whae the real cunts are.
[US]S. King Finders Keepers (2016) 370: That’s a really shitty haircut.

3. (US) mean, malicious, nasty.

[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 130: If the runt is shitty [...] I’ll bury my foot in her ass.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 11: Is a little bit of money really making you get shitty?
[UK](con. 1930s) I. Agnew Loner 99: The bastards got real shitty.
[US](con. 1963) P. Conroy Lords of Discipline 132: I plan to have the shittiest goddam attitude in the United States.
[US]R. Campbell In La-La Land We Trust (1999) 45: Shitty, ain’t it? A man can’t even buy a bowl of soup for a friend anymore.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 64: Then he’s, like, all shitty and he goes, ‘I only slept with ya ’cause ya needed it’.
[US]Eminem ‘Stan’ [lyrics] That’s pretty shitty man – you’re like his fuckin idol.
[UK]D. Mitchell Black Swan Green 101: This whiny shitty nasty weepy man who isn’t my dad takes my dad over.

4. (US) tedious, futile; emotional stressful.

[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 15: This is shitty – except that I can visit twice a week.
[UK]Eve. Standard (London) 13 May 5/15: Her father died of cancer [...] She’s had a really shitty time.

5. (US) unwell, ill.

[US]Baker et al. CUSS 195: Shitty Have a minor illness, feel sick.
[US]G.V. Higgins Cogan’s Trade (1975) 54: He was inna hospital over two and a half weeks [...] He’s around, but he look shitty.

6. (Aus.) bad-tempered.

[Aus]A. Weller Day of the Dog 138: Trust Jamie to give him a shitty job when the big bastard is in a shitty mood, thinks Doug. The underneath of the shed is knee-deep in dried sheep droppings.
[US]C. Hiaasen Strip Tease 63: He has a very shitty opinion of politicians.
[Aus]Penguin Bk of More Aus. Jokes 289: Please excuse him. He’s got a bit shitty because he’s going to the dentist this afternoon.
[Aus]S. Maloney Sucked In 10: ‘Jesus, Col, you want me to do a fucking impression?’ ‘Just asking. No need to get shitty’.

7. (US) dangerous.

[US]E. Torres After Hours 108: Never stared at the shitty end of a knife or gun.

8. incompetent.

[US](con. 1949) J.G. Dunne True Confessions (1979) 145: You’re good at sneaking a priest out of a whorehouse [...] What you’re shitty at is Mystery Clues.
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 10: My union is shitty. He urges me to join his.

In derivatives

shittiness (n.) (also shiteyness, shitness)


J. Jones Go to the Widow-maker 75: [He] was holding forth [...] about the general shittiness of current American theater .
John Lennon Lennon Remembers (2001) 56: We were a bit infuriated by the glibness of it, and the shittiness of the dialogue.
P. Norman Shout! 123: Poems that started seriously but petered out into self-conscious obscenity and anguished cries about the ‘shittiness’ of life.
[US](con. 1969–70) D. Bodey F.N.G. (1988) 178: A couple of times since the ambush, we’ve talked about the shittiness of it.
H. Blau To All Appearances 104: [...] in which [...] the rot of the world and the sordidness, the shittiness of its hero is embalmed.
R. Johnson And Sometimes Why 38: Having arrived at a justification for the shittiness of other men, Anton felt suddenly energized.
[Aus]J.J. DeCeglie Drawing Dead [ebook] Even with the level of shittiness I was feeling I still noticed the girls.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 168: Before the shiteyness was a vague feelin ay flu-like symptoms.
[UK]J. Fagan Panopticon (2013) 39: Some people urnay meant to know the strue shitness of life.

In compounds

shitty-livered (adj.)

(Aus./N.Z.) bad-tempered.

T. Burstall letter 27 Nov. H. McPhee Memoirs of a Young Bastard (2012) 17: Though anyone’d get a bit shitty-livered in a joint like that.
E.Murphy Affective Disorders in the Elderly 216: Bad days, like last Friday and today, when one feels shitty-livered.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 101/2: shitty-livered ill-tempered.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
shitty-nosed (adj.)

(US) sycophantic and contemptible.

[US]F. Hilaire Thanatos 122: They all turned out to be shitty-nosed stool pigeons.

In phrases

feel shitty (v.)

to feel terrible, usu. emotionally, i.e. guilty, depressed, mean (cf. feel like shit under shit n.).

[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 903: You know I didn’t mean to shoot him [...] He just stopped. It makes you feel pretty shitty.
[US]Kerouac letter 17 Oct. in Charters II (1999) 308: I hope you appreciate the fact I feel well, shamed? awful? shitty? for writing about everybody as they are.
[US]L. Bruce Essential Lenny Bruce Nov. [stage performance] Because when your daughters, if their husbands get shot, and they haul ass to save their asses, they’ll feel shitty, and low, because they’re not like that good Mrs. Kennedy who stayed there.
[US]J. Heller Good As Gold (1979) 440: Ralph, I feel shitty tonight. My brother’s dead and my father’s old.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 128: Now I felt shitty. I felt so bad for what I did.
[UK]C. Newland Scholar 93: Don’t big yourself up, ’cause you’ll only feel shitty when I cane you.