Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shit-eating adj.

[shit-eater n.]

1. a general term of disparagement.

[US](con. 1950s) J. Peacock Valhalla 33: The troops [...] sitting in the bouncing, jolting trucks grinning like a platoon of shit-eating cats.
[US](con. 1940s) G. Mandel Wax Boom 17: We’re going in like a shiteating regiment.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 8: Their shoes thudded into the shiteatinbastards kidneys and ribs and he groaned.
[US]R. Price Blood Brothers 96: Do you know what anorexia’s all about? Terror. Pure, simple shit-eating terror.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 178: GI beaucoup number ten goddamned shit-eating fucking pig.
[Aus]Tharunka (Sydney) 3 Aug. 20/1: ‘You fuck faced shit eating cock sucking polecat’, phrase which Minister for Education Dr Terry Metherall is considering having banned from state schools on a trial basis.
[UK]J. Mowry Six Out Seven (1994) 148: You goddam little shit-eatin sons of bitches!
[US]Baltimore Sun (MD) 3 June T4/1: For god’s sakes bronze a turd and put a marker on the shit-eating site!
[UK]Guardian 2 Apr. 33: One of the ways the oligarch’s deal works with Putin is as a sort of shit-eating turn deal.

2. toadying, subservient.

[US](con. early 1950s) J. Peacock Valhalla 89: The slim Pfc was grinning like a shit-eating cat.
[NZ]G. Newbold Big Huey 147: I’d rather be doing that [i.e. cleaning latrines] than be a shit-eating screw like you. Too lazy to work and too gutless to steal.
[UK]Guardian 10 July 37/5: To him, life might be one long scene [...] played out with a shit-eating smile.
[UK]J. Mowry Way Past Cool 180: White folks [...] lookin humble as hell an all shit-eatin sorry over what their great-grandfathers prob’ly never even done in the first place.
[US]Chicago Trib. ‘The Onion’ 1 Dec. TAB-9/2: My own actions may have earned me nothing more than the right to have this toothy, shit-eating smile punched off my face.

3. sly, duplicitous.

[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 216: You are a shit-eating liar.
[UK]J. Mowry Way Past Cool 59: The man’s face [...] wore the same, sly, shit-eating expression that Danny had put on the day Ty had caught him shoplifting.
[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 11 Jan. 6/2: A shit-eating smirk spread across Weasel’s face.