Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shithouse adj.

[shithouse n. (5)]

1. unpleasant, disgusting, filthy, messy, second-rate.

[US]q. in Wiley Life of Billy Yank (1952) 199: You God-damned low-lived son of a bitch, you shit-house adjutant.
[US]A. Bessie Men in Battle 67: Yet even while they referred to any such bit of information as a ‘shithouse rumor’ they spread it even farther.
[Aus]G. Hamilton Summer Glare 82: You dirty rotten stinkin’ little shit-house bloody rat.
[US]Kerouac letter 12 Apr. in Charters II (1999) 251: I get such silly letters every day [...] Or ridiculous requests that I appear somewhere to read ... Whether it’s Oxford or shithouse college.
[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 83: That was a lousy rotten shithouse thing to say.
[Aus]Tharunka (Sydney) 8 Nov. 28/3: [A]ll their mouths agape to catch the filthy fucker flies that fly between the Union shithouse cafeteria and the Union President’s white elephant alternative ripoff shithouse cafeteria, the Wentworth.
[Aus]J. McNeil How Does Your Garden Grow Act III: sam: How do I look? mick: Shithouse. Yer a grub.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 13: The whole pommie economy is based on everyone doing a shithouse job as slowly as possible.
[Aus]T. Winton That Eye, The Sky 33: ‘How’s boarding school?’ I ask. [...] ‘Shithouse.’.
[Aus]R. McDonald Rough Wallaby 132: Now, that’s a shithouse thing to say.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Goodoo Goodoo 30: You were shithouse. Wolfman Jack would be rolling over in his grave.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 78: There is also the crass but widely used shithouse, a term which has generated many useful and colourful combinations as ugly as a shithouse rat, built like a brick shithouse (that is, big and strong) and the simple description of something shoddy or inferior as shithouse.
[Aus]P. Temple Dead Point (2008) [ebook] ‘How’s the film business?’ ‘Shithouse’.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] ‘You don’t know how to fire [a gun]’ ‘Nor do you, judging by your shithouse shot yesterday’.
[UK]Guardian 9 Jan. 🌐 [A] wag of the tail and a nudge of my leg on days when human life seemed shithouse to me.
[Aus]G. Gilmore Base Nature [ebook] ‘I’m working my way through it [...] but it’s still pretty shithouse’.
[Aus]C. Hammer Opal Country 320: ‘What was his relationship like with his daughter?’ ‘Shithouse’.

2. of a person, ill, exhausted, run down, highly nervous.

[Aus]H. Garner Monkey Grip 91: I asked him how he was. ‘Shithouse,’ he croaked. ‘Nauseous.’.
[US]J. Wambaugh Finnegan’s Week 275: I’m goin shithouse waitin fer the fuckin little hand to get on the six.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 78: It is even possible, in Lingo at least, to describe one’s general condition in this way: i’m feeling shithouse today.
[Aus]Age (Melbourne) Books 18 June 10/6: It’s afterwards that you feel shithouse.
[US]F. Bill Donnybrook [ebook] [A] crazy shithouse recluse.
[Aus]C. Hammer Scrublands [ebook] ‘How you feeling?’ ‘Shithouse. I cracked a couple of ribs on the steering wheel. They hurt like fuck’.