Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shindy n.

also shindying, shinty
[naut. jargon shindy, a form of dance among sailors; ? ult. SE shinty, a game, mainly played in Ireland, that resembles a rougher form of hockey]

a noise, a disturbance, a commotion.

[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 248: The Jack Tar is quite pleased with his night’s cruise, and is continually singing out, ‘What a prime Shindy, my messmates!’.
[UK]‘A Grand Turn-Up’ in Randy Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) I 187: Oh, have you not heard of a shindy so glorious, / That occurred in St Giles’s not long ago.
[US]N.Y. Times 9 Jan. 3/1: [A watchman] hearing a bit of a shindy at a house occupied by a couple of ‘darkies,’ [entered, and] found both husband and wife pretty well ‘how come you so’.
[UK]Comic Almanack Aug. 278: There vos a Tigler shindy betwixt the sham solgers and the Real vons.
[US]J.C. Neal Peter Ploddy and Other Oddities 18: Well, bang my kerkus for a drum [...] if this ’ere isn’t that ’ere singing chap agin. I knows him by his mulberry nose. He’s on a shindy somewhere or other every night.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 3 Jan. 3/1: Mary Ann Brown, one of those funny ‘frail ones,’ [...] was charged [...] with being drunk in Kent-street, on Saturday night, ‘kicking up a shindy’ with a nigger, in the same street, about money that she.said was due to her for the use of her mangle (?).
[UK]Thackeray Pendennis I 118: He agreed to dine with me, and I think after the--after the little shindy this morning [...] it would look kind.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 9 Mar. 3/3: It was true he might have seen the shindy.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 17 Apr. 6/1: The coves next jigger (door) are hangers on (dependents) of the Autembawlers (ministers) and turn up their snuff-traps whenever there’s a shindy.
[UK]F. Smedley Lewis Arundel 39: ‘We are safe for a bit of a shindy, no doubt,’ was the cool reply.
[UK]F.W. Farrar Eric I 105: We’re making a regular knock-me-down shindy.
[US] ‘The Divil’s own Boy’ in Fred Shaw’s Champion Comic Melodist 17: When the shindy it was over, / And the fracas it was done.
[US]C.G. Leland ‘Breitmann in Politics’ in Hans Breitmann About Town 59: Und denn dere coomed a shindy / Ash if de shky hat trop: / Trow him mit ecks, py doonder! / Go shlog him on de kop!
[US]Appleton’s Journal (N.Y.) 3 Dec. 667/2: Our friends the ‘roughs’ had thought best to have a little bit of a ‘shindy’.
[UK]in Ebsworth Bagford Ballads (1878) II 930: The tearing of her placket, or her ruff, indicated a woman’s frailty; often with a ‘shindy’ in a brothel.
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) V 887: A regular shindy ensued among the servants, and it ended in the whole lot being discharged.
[UK] ‘’Arry on a ’ouseboat’ Punch 15 Aug. 76: Your monkeyings mar every pageant, your shindyings spoil every sport.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 24 June 1/8: A rale old Irish shindy — sticks and stones and broken bones.
[UK]J. Greenwood Behind A Bus 79: ‘Been having a row with the master?’ I asked her. ‘Just a bit of a shinty,’ replied the young virago.
[UK]R. Marsh Beetle 333: ‘What sort of a shindy?’ ‘Yelling and shrieking—oh my gracious, it was enough to set your blood all curdled.’.
[UK]Marvel 22 May 9: If there’s a shindy, and we come to close quarters, leave Freeman to your captain, boys.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 16 Feb. 314: I [...] shouted my loudest; and a very fair shindy I made, too.
[US]O. Johnson Varmint 324: We had a bit of a shindy [...] and I bumped my head.
[UK]J. Buchan Mr Standfast (1930) 595: I might have to fight the lot of them, and that meant a noble public shindy.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Third Round 728: I heard the most infernal shindy aboard your yacht and then a splash.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 19 Dec. 3/2: Any’ow, he started a shindy.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 197: They had a few of the River Rats still in clink from that Cherry Street shindy.
[UK]B. Bennett ‘The Broadcaster’ [music hall script] To-day at the organ we’ve got Tommy O’Mogan / Be prepared for a bit of a shindy.
[US]S. Bellow Augie March (1996) 304: We went out to a wiener and sauerkraut shindy.
[Aus]D. Martin Hero of Too 353: You were in the big shindy? What did you want to get mixed up for?

In phrases

kick up a shindy (v.) (also cut up shindies, kick up shindies)

to cause trouble, to create a disturbance.

[UK]J.H. Lewis Lectures on Art of Writing (1840) 62: Dash my wig, if I hant kick’d up as great a shindy as the best on um ever since!
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 157: ‘To kick up a shindy,’ [...] resembles very much an Irish paddy-row.
[UK]Westmorland Gaz. 14 Feb. 3/4: When he found ’twas ‘no go’ / [...] / As ’twas useless with Lindy / To kick up a shindy /He resolv’d upon peregrin-ation.
[UK] ‘The Irish New Policeman’ in Henderson Victorian Street Ballads (1937) 39: I knocks the first man down I meet / And kicks up a shindy, fit to craze one.
[US]N.Y. Daily Trib. 30 Nov. 1/5: They complain of the bad conduct of some of the soldier supes of Otello who go into the amphitheatre after they have finished their duties on the stage and cut up shindies.
[US]Melville Moby Dick (1907) 256: What a shindy they are kicking up!
[UK] ‘Yarhoo Doodle’ in Rakish Rhymer (1917) 60: And they kicked up gallus shindies.
[UK]West Briton & Cornwall Advertiser 18 Aug. 6/3: What presumption it is for a stranger to come into this town and kick up such a shindy.
[UK] ‘’Arry on Law and Order’ Punch 26 Nov. 249/2: But the Scapegoats must not kick up shindies, and stop up our streets and our squares.
[UK]G. du Maurier Trilby 271: If any one tries to fool him [...] don’t he cut up rough, call names, and kick up a shindy.
[UK]Illus. Police News 20 Oct. 11/3: [headline] Chinese Laundrymen Kick Up a Nice Little Shindy.
[Aus]Truth (Melbourne) 3 Jan. 2/4: They don’t kick up a shindy inside the saloon. They daren’t.
[UK]‘Taffrail’ Sub 165: You come ’ere and kicks up a shindy … .
[UK]E. Blair in College Days (Eton) 4 1 Apr. in Complete Works X (1998) 65: They were kicking up an ear-splitting shindy.
[UK](con. WWI) E. Lynch Somme Mud 20: He’ll wait till we’re moving out [...] then kick up a shindy.
[UK]Western Morn. News 18 July 6/4: Whenever gulls ‘kick up a shindy’ a reason can be found.
[UK]C. Day Lewis Otterbury Incident 52: The birds were kicking up a fearful shindy in our garden.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 65: He’d kick up a bit of a shindy at first and talk a lot of bullsh about his reputation as a good and fair ref.
[UK](con. 1920s) D. Holman-Hunt My Grandmothers and I (1987) 143: You are kicking up a shindy!