SE in slang uses
(US) to perform menial, distasteful tasks.
|[||Jungle 35: ‘Worked here [i.e. a slaughterhouse] before?’ ‘No ’stand.’ (Signals and gesticulations on the part of the boss. Vigorous shakes of the head by Jurgis.) ‘Shovel guts?’ ‘No ’stand.’ (More shakes of the head)].|
|LiveJournal.com 22 June [Internet] I’d rather shovel guts than spend another day on-call.at|
see pile it higher and deeper under pile v.
to make one’s best efforts, despite overwhelming odds.
|Tucson Weekly 1 Oct. [Internet] I admire a lad with the brass to shovel shit against the tide on a truly epic scale.|
to take a walk.
|Sweet Thursday (1955) 65: There were footsteps on the pavement. [...] ‘Thought I’d shovel the dirt a little.’.|
1. (also shovel up shit) to gossip, esp. maliciously; to talk nonsense [shit n. (4a)].
|,||DAS 474/1: Since c.1935.|
|in Erotic Muse (1992) 58: My old man was a miner, / Worked all day in the pit. / Sometimes he’d shovel up coal dust, / Sometimes he’d shovel up shit.|
|In La-La Land We Trust (1999) 112: he had to ask the question, the answer to which would probably kick the hell out of the pile of shit Barcaloo was shoveling.|
|Guardian 17 Apr. 58/1: ‘I was furious [...] I wasn’t going to stand for this garbage [...] they couldn’t shovel that shit to me’.|
2. to do an unpleasant job of work [shit n. (3b)].
|(con. 1940s) Wax Boom 285: I can’t handle them, sir. I can’t run men in for you, sir. Shovel your own shit, sir.|
|Public Burning (1979) 98: Your buddies are gonna have you shovelin’ shit tomorrow, boy!|
|(con. 1960s) Tripmaster Monkey 76: He’s the only Chinese-American of his generation not in grad school, he’ll shovel shit.|
|Guardian 7 Oct. 45/2: ‘I’d rather shovel shit than live off my past’.|
|Dreamcatcher 252: Get your ass out of there now, or I guarantee that by next week you’ll be shovelling camel-shit in a hot climate where booze is illegal.|
|Baltimore Sun (MD) 2 Apr. T59/2: ‘Can you shovel shit?’ he growled [...] Sometimes I wish I’d taken the job, but shit shoeveler lacks a future.|
to hand over, to pass.
|letter 7 June in Charters II (1999) 40: He only shoveled up 2 bucks.|
(N.Z.) an excl. of dismissal, disbelief.
|Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 102/1: shovel it! expression of disbelief, suggesting that bullshit is being shovelled; often accompanied by motion of shovelling imaginary bullshit; eg ‘You expect me to believe that! Ahh ... shovel it!’.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].|