Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shithouse n.

also shitehouse
[shit n. (1a) + SE house]

1. a lavatory.

implied in sense 3.
[UK]A. Radcliffe ‘A Call to the Guard by a Drum’ in Poems 69: Some at Sh--house publick (where a Rag always goes) At once empty their Guts and diminish their Clothes.
[UK] in G. MacGregor Coll. Writings of Graham (1883) II. 247: When [Wallace] came to London, we did him all manner of justice, and for honour of the Scots, we have his effigy in the shite-houses to this very day .
[Scot]Bugger’s Alphabet in Bold (1979) 43: S is the shithouse all full to the brim.
[UK] ‘Stinking Breath’ in Ticklish Minstrel 45: Your breath stinks just like any s--t-house.
[UK] ‘The T--d and the Soap Suds’ in Nancy Dawson’s Cabinet of Songs 6: Oh, dear, sir, how could you, the barber did cry, / Shit in my shop – when the shit-house is nigh?
[UK]Cythera’s Hymnal 63: Then the shit-house door ope’d wide.
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) II 227: I stayed at the shit-house some time, went up quietly, and heard her door close.
[US] in R.G. Reisner Graffiti (1971) 109: In this sad shithouse / I look in vain for paper.
[UK] ‘Mobile’ in Bold (1979) 140: The lighthouse is a white house / ’Cos they use it as a shite house in Mobile!
Bawdy N.Y. State MS 🌐 1: ‘Well,’ replied the clerk, ‘He said he would build you a shit-house.’.
[UK] ‘Mary’ in Bold (1979) 136: Mary in the shithouse shovelling shit / Syphilitic chancres on her starboard tit.
[UK] ‘Rangy Lil’ in Bold (1979) 191: The fate that overtook her / Back of the shithouse on Dougan’s Hill.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 18: We’re dancing there in the shithouse.
[Aus]song title in Mess Songs & Rhymes of the RAAF 37: Please Don’t Burn Our Shithouse Down.
[UK]K. Amis letter 29 Oct. in Leader (2000) 221: The bathroom and shithouse can only be reached through my bedroom.
[UK]‘Count Palmiro Vicarion’ Limericks 94: There was a young man from Port Said / Who fell down a shit-house and died.
[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 104: I wouldn’t trust Lee in a shit-house with a muzzle on.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Boys from Binjiwunyawunya 19: Go to the shithouse, will you.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Between the Devlin 27: [I]f there had been a length of rope in the flat, Les would have hung himself in the accountant’s shithouse.
[US]Kennedy & Davies Boots of Leather (2014) 249: ‘You meet somebody in the bathroom, do your thing, and then come out [...] I would bet some had more sex in the shithouse than they had in their bedrooms’.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 147: So we got him in the shithouse, kick fuck out of him.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Leaving Bondi (2013) [ebook] ‘Phew! You’re mate’s not on the nose enough, Les. Where did you find him? In a shithouse?’.
[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz Apr. 48: It’s fuller than a seaside shithouse.
[US]T. Pluck Boy from County Hell 330: ‘Where’s the damn shithouse?’ .

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[UK]P. Larkin letter 21 Dec. in Thwaite Sel. Letters (1992) 50: Rather fun to set up business with you as builders after the war: completely mad, building houses with booby traps, no windows, shit-house pipe leading into the larder, and so on.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 305: The bloody boss [...] couldn’t whitewash a shit-’ouse wall.
[UK](con. 1930s) D. Behan Teems of Times and Happy Returns 145: A man’s ambition must be small, / To write his name on a shitehouse wall.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 196: She didn’t have any clothes to wear apart from this roll of shit house paper.
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 93: I’ve seen you put your dukes through wooden shit-house doors.
[US]‘Master Pimp’ Pimp’s Rap 192: There were hustlers and gangsters in the hall and bulldaggers by the shithouse wall.

3. in fig. use, as an intensifier.

[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Million Buck Snatch!’ Dan Turner - Hollywood Detective Jan. 🌐 This bright shamus dashed in and slapped me for a row of brick out-houses.
[Aus]Age (Melbourne) 4 June 54/5: Near the end of the World Cup final, he just couldn’t contain his emotion, pleading with the Wallabies to ‘kick it to the shithouse’.
[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 26 Aug. 268/2: ‘What’s wrong with you, Carl, slog the c... to the shithouse!’ bellows one.

4. an unpleasant or contemptible person.

Narr. Case John Porter, Jun. in Shurtleff Rec. Governor & Company of Mass. Bay in New Eng. (1853–54) IV 216: He called his mother Rambeggur, Gammar Shithouse, Gammar Pissehouse [...] & these abusive names he vsed frequently.
[UK]J. Hanley German Prisoner 8: He had been known as [...] a pimp — a shit-house — a toad — a sucker — a blasted sod.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 11: Fughing Irish shit-’ouse.
[SA]B. Modisane Blame me on Hist. 7: ‘You bloody shit house,’ he said.
[UK]C. Dexter Last Seen Wearing in Second Morse Omnibus (1994) 533: He was a shithouse.
[UK]T. Lewis GBH 54: ‘’[H]e’s in his own eyes a local star. In the eyes of the locals, he’s a shithouse’.
[UK]N. Farki Countryman Karl Black 29: The conductress was still quarrelling. ‘Damn fasty shit-house!’.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Boys from Binjiwunyawunya 15: Give that dirty black shithouse 500 grand. You’re kidding.
[Ire](con. 1945) S. McAughtry Touch and Go 78: ‘I know him, all right,’ she said, ‘and he’s a leading shithouse.’.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 48: Fella’s properly a shithouse. He’s just a fucking horrible wretch.
Twitter 27 Jan. 🌐 Imagine being such a spineless, snivelling little shithouse that you’d get yourself ratioed this comprehensively telling lies.
L. Inglis on Twitter 30 Oct. 🌐 A courier just left a socially distanced package [...] and said, ‘Here you are, lady,’ [...] in a tone you would get a back hand for where I grew up. MANNERS COST NOTHING YOU SHITHOUSE.

5. any place (occas. object, see cite 1998, 2) judged second-rate, usu. dirty, messy, disgusting.

[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 375: You leave the toilet and you step into the big shithouse.
[US]L. Bruce Essential Lenny Bruce 58: It’s getting a little ridiculous working in this shithouse.
[US]E. Droge Patrolman 84: Some shithouse, huh? This fuckin’ place is gettin’ worse every day.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 28: Let’s face it, this is a shithouse.
[UK]A. Burgess Earthly Powers 20: Fucking shithouse of a bloody place.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Boys from Binjiwunyawunya 69: The sooner you get this done the sooner we can all get out of this shithouse.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 24: Crawling through the iodized shithouse that used to be England.
[Aus]P. Doyle (con. late 1950s) Amaze Your Friends (2019) 115: [of a prison] ‘Jesus, Billy, I thought you were too smart to wind up in his shithouse’.
[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 83: Just getting out of that shithoose restores your perspective. [Ibid.] 143: There is no way I’m going back to that shitehouse today.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mud Crab Boogie (2013) [ebook] It [i.e. an automobile] wasn’t much bigger than a go-kart, looked like an absolute shithouse and mechanically would have been flat out pulling a French letter off a slack dick.
[UK]N. ‘Razor’ Smith Raiders 123: [He] was doing his time in a shithouse like Wandsworth [...] the Hate Factory.
T.P. McCauley ‘Lady Madeline’s Dive’ in ThugLit Sept./Oct. [ebook] Flattened by a Studebaker in fron of a shithouse [i.e a downmarket casino] like this.
[Aus]T. Peacock More You Bet 19: One might have witnessed a bookie saying, ‘I’ve scored a grouse stand!’ or alternatively, ’I’ve been shoved in the shithouse!’.

6. a jail.

[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 80: I can’t haul ass out of this shit house comes five o’clock.
[US]F. Elli Riot (1967) 166: If the convicts had an organization as powerful as the Humane Society behind us the public couldn’t get away with runnin’ a shit-house like this.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 237: I someone had told me a year ago I’d be back in the shit-house I’d have thought he was nuts.
[US]J. Ellroy Suicide Hill 110: [I]t was Bobby Boogaloo [ii.e. a rapist] who put them inches away from the shithouse.

7. (orig. Aus.) a bad situation.

[UK]T. Hopkinson In the Fiery Continent 303: You sh--heads better all clear off back to your hotels. You don’t win any f---ing Pulitzer prizes here. In fact this whole f---ing Congo’s just one ruddy sh--house.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 21: You guys can move with me or stay in the shithouse hustling quarters.
[US]Alt. Eng. Dict. 🌐 shithouse (adjective) bad situation. Australian and UK term referring to a situation that is not going right.
[UK]D. Mitchell Black Swan Green 368: Hey. life isn’t such a shit-house after all.
[Aus]N. Cummins Adventures of the Honey Badger [ebook] What a bummer! From penthouse to shithouse in one easy lesson.

8. a coward.

[UK]K. Sampson Awaydays 9: Bit of a shithouse. I tried to get everyone calling him Danny Jekyll — he’s always hiding — but it never caught on.

In derivatives

shithousery (n.) [popularized in UK during 2018 World Cup]

an attempt to gain an advantage by unfair means.

Twitter 10 June 🌐 Otamendi booked following his second lash of the ball at an opposition player lying prone on the floor. Pure #shithousery that @BeardedGenius would be proud of.
‘Secret Barrister’ Twitter 2 Dec. 🌐 The Prime Minister has basically copied and pasted my blogpost [...] and passed it off as his own explanation. A blogpost which I had to write to rebut the lies he spent yesterday spouting. This is weapons grade shithousery.

In phrases

out on its/one’s own like a country shithouse (adj.) (also like a country dunny)

(Aus./N.Z.) unique, unrivalled; thus stand out like a country shithouse v.; note cit. 1918 is euph. abbr.

[Aus]Aussie (France) 9 Dec. 20/1: The ‘Set’ works on very original lines. To use a Diggerism, ‘it’s out on its own’ as regards its method of work and style of entertainment.
[Aus] ‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxix 4/5: stands out like a country shithouse: Something so obvious it is unmistakeable [sic].
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 80/1: out on its own, like a country shithouse excellent or unique; eg ‘Television has introduced some startling logos over the years, but this one is out on its own, like a country shithouse.’.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 150: out on its/your own, like a country dunny/shithouse Alone, morose, or unique, but not necessarily admirable. Early C20. ANZ.
shithouse full of (n.)

(US) a very large number or amount.

[US] in E. Wilson Prelude (1967) 202: We had a whole shit-house full o’ fun with those girls.
[US]Dimi & Joey ‘Now I Know I Am Not Alone’ Part 4 on Nifty Erotic Stories Archive 🌐 I have been in way too many cunts that have been used by a shithouse full of boys.
to the shithouse (adv.) [as a euph. for SE hell]

(Aus.) to pieces, ‘to hell’.

[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 141: One bloke with a job at the mine blew himself and his shop up with gelignite [...] He blew the lot to the shithouse, himself, her and three of his kids.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Real Thing 71: I’d like to get to the shithouse out of here.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett White Shoes 242: It might be a good idea if I got to the shithouse out of here.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mystery Bay Blues 305: They’ll just cut their losses and get to the shithouse out of Narooma.