Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shit, the phr.

[note synon. uses of the stronger fuck, the phr. and the milder hell, the phr.]

1. (also the living shit, the shitter) constr. with the and a vb. of aggression, the essence, the absolute; usu. in phr. ...the shit out of.

[US]letter q. in Wiley Life of Billy Yank (1952) 213: If it were not for the difference in rank I would [...] knock shit out of you.
[US]q. in Jrnl House of Representatives (Ohio) 207: He says, ‘If you don’t register me, God damn you, I will knock the shit out of you’.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 107: I know I’m boring the shit out of you.
[US]J.T. Farrell World I Never Made 123: If you ever say I told you, I’ll lam the shit out of you.
[US] in T. Shibutani Derelicts of Company K (1978) 305: I see the fuckin’ Haole chewing the shit out of the Buddhaheads.
[UK]D. Davin For the Rest of Our Lives 311: Anything was better than sitting waiting for the show to start and getting the shit shelled out of you.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 137: I wouldn’t wait till I was old and decrepit, until they had first hammered the shit out of me and then salved me with the Nobel Prize.
[US]E. Hemingway letter 2 June in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 698: When you finish a book it knocks the shit out of you.
[US]S. Bellow Augie March (1996) 170: Next time I’ll shoot the shit out of you.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Start in Life (1979) 99: If I had suddenly been able to get my hands on the thieving bastard I’d have choked the shit out of him.
[Aus]J. Hibberd A Stretch of the Imagination (2000) 121: You beat the shitter out of me, Mervyn, fractured my skull.
[US]J. Yount Trapper’s Last Shot (1974) 172: Earl Scruggs [...] played the living shit out of his banjo.
[US]J. Wambaugh Secrets of Harry Bright (1986) 193: He thrills the shit outta all the sissies and they buy him lots of drinks.
[UK]J. Mowry Six Out Seven (1994) 320: Keep a whole family flat on the floor for hours, man . . . tearin the shit out your place.
[US]S. King Dolores Claiborne 143: You know, you startled the shit out of me, woman.
[US]C. Hiaasen Lucky You 18: The feds had shot the shit out of him.
[US]Source Oct. 96: I wrote the shit out of that album.
[UK]Observer Mag. 7 Nov. 13: It must creep the shit out of you, someone getting into your house and sleeping in your bed.
[UK]M. Collins Keepers of Truth 44: That unnerved the shit out of her.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper 4 43: He actually won the fight, punching ten shades of shit of the numbnut dago.
[UK]K. Richards Life 50: Two blokes kicking the shit out of some poor little bugger.
[US]‘Dutch’ ? (Pronounced Que) [ebook] Shameeq cut off KG’s weak pleas by smacking the shit out of him.
[US]Chicago Trib. 23 Feb. 4/1: [headline] Female Friends Spend Raucous Night Validating the Living Shit Out of Each Other.
Balimore Sun (MD) 3 June T23/4: ‘We will not kick the living shit out of you’.

2. (orig. US) constr. with the, a general intensifier, e.g. who the shit are you?, let’s get the shit out of here; usu. as what the shit...? phr.

[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 446: Hey, how in the shit old are you anyway?
[US]E.K. Walker ‘Harlem Transfer’ in King Black Short Story Anthol. (1972) 55: Let’s get the shit on.
Dly Press (Newport News, VA) 12 July 7/4: Who the shit cares.

3. the epitome, the very best.

[UK]Observer (London) 23 Nov. 229/1: ‘I’m the man, I’m the shit’.
[US]T.I. ‘I Can’t Quit’ [lyrics] And rappers hate it cause they know I’m the shit / [...] / People hate it when you better than them.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] That [i.e. methamphetamine] is the shit. That is the fucking shit.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] A cop on these streets [...] you’d better be arrogant. There are people up here, they see you don’t think you’re the shit, they will kill you.

In phrases

beat the shit out of (v.)

see separate entry.

kick the shit out of (v.) (also kick the living shit out of, kick the shite out of)

to beat severely; thus kick-shitting adj.

[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 301: Gob, Jack made him toe the line. Told him if he didn’t patch up the pot, Jesus, he’d kick the shite out of him.
[US] ‘The Castration of the Strawberry Roan’ in G. Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 95: You damned outlaw, just wait till I’m through, / ’Cause I’m gonna kick all the shit out of you.
[US]C. Willingham End as a Man (1952) 233: Jocko sprang into a crouch, his fists up [...] ‘I’ll kick the shit out of you!’.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 92: These sportsmen would be serious men if it came to kicking the shit out of you.
[US]Realist Sept. 24/2: Get together and fight, you are getting the shit kicked out of you.
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 387: He sho kick the livin’ shit out of yuh.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 99: He kicked the shit out of one of the police officers.
[US]D. Goines Never Die Alone 21: She wasn’t too young to see her mother get the shit kicked out of her.
[US]D. Mamet Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1994) 84: So I lean back and kick the shit out of it three or four times.
[US]G.V. Higgins Patriot Game (1985) (1985) 233: I’m gonna kick the shit out of you.
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 111: Kicked the shit out of —.
[UK](con. 1956) P. Theroux My Secret Hist. (1990) 66: If you say one more word I’ll kick the living shit out of you!
[NZ]A. Duff One Night Out Stealing 54: Kicked the fuckin shet out of him.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett White Shoes 251: They both started [...] bashing the shit out of each other.
[UK]Observer Rev. 4 July 12: Helen kicked 50 shades of shit out of him.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 21 Jan. 19: The story of a kick-shitting redneck transvestite.
[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 50: Pointing at the perma-blasted, short-sighted Mexican kicking the shit out of some poor guy.
[UK]Observer Mag. 27 Feb. 23: Yeah, I got into a fight, too, one time and kicked the shit out of this guy.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 220: I’m going to kick the living shit out of this prat here.
[US]D.H. Sterry Chicken (2003) 130: Getting her off the streets, where she was sure to get the shit repeatedly kicked out of her.
[UK]J. Niven Kill Your Friends (2009) 21: Our Managing Director’s idea of a reasonable evening’s entertainment involves paying a couple of rent boys to kick the living shit out of him.
knock the shit out of (v.) (also knock the dog shit out of, knock the shite out of)

1. to beat severely.

[US](con. 1953–7) L. Yablonsky Violent Gang (1967) 82: Come on, you fuckin’ punks, we’re going to take you out in the park and knock the shit out of you!
[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘The Law of Retribution’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 174: A so-called man [...] promises himself he’ll knock the shit out of the bastard.
[UK](con. WW2) T. Jones Heart of Oak [ebook] Most of them had a pretty cushy time [...] except for the two big battles where the battleships knocked shit out of each other .
[Ire]R. Doyle Snapper 197: You should knock the shite ou’ of him though.
[US]J. Lansdale Two-Bear Mambo (1996) 5: That motherfucker tripped my black ass and knocked the dog shit out of me.

2. in fig. use of sense 1.

Dly Press (Newport News, VA) 12 July 7/6: Well, I’m going to knock the shit out of this story.
scare the (living) shit(s) out of (v.) (also frighten the shit out of, scare the holy shit out of)

(orig. US) to terrify.

[US]S.J. Perelman letter 31 Oct. in Crowther Don’t Tread on Me (1987) 7: I scared the shit out of him!
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 175: Frankly, that scared the shit out of me.
[UK]D. Davin For the Rest of Our Lives 114: Fancy five days like that, with the shit scared out of you and killing Jerries for trying to chase you off a place where you hate like hell being.
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 895: What the hell you doin out here, Mack? [...] You like to scare the livin shit out of us.
[UK]A. Petry Narrows 241: That’s right, Miss Doris, you go in there and scare the shit out of that buffalo.
[US](con. 1953–7) L. Yablonsky Violent Gang (1967) 27: I think we scared the shit out of them.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 19 Aug. in Proud Highway (1997) 463: I [...] put on a bulldrunk that scared the shit out of the Observer honchos.
[UK]M. Frayn Towards the End of Morning (2000) 9: I’d scare the living shits out of you lot.
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 107: These dinky little planes that scare the living shit out of you.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 63: He [...] stumbled into the morgue attendant’s office — scared the shit out of the guy.
[US]M. Baker Nam (1982) 138: We’d just try to scare the shit out of them.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 64: Them seizures scare the shit out of him.
[UK]‘Derek Raymond’ He Died with His Eyes Open 124: I’d get the people you’ve been interviewing by the short hairs and really grip them. Frighten the shit out of them.
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 104: He keeps this 12-gauge shotgun, and he [...] heads for the mother-in-law, and he’s gonna scare the shit out of her.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 382: You’re going to scare the shit out of Patchett and you’re going to do whatever it takes to get what we both want.
[UK]J. Mowry Way Past Cool 150: We ever scare the holy shit outa them little bastards!
[US]C. Hiaasen Lucky You 142: First he’d scare the living shit out of the guy.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 13 July 9: The success of Angels scared the shit out of me.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 28 May 49: You scared the shit outtta me.
[UK]J. Hawes Dead Long Enough 113: They would have scared the living shit out of me.
[US]W. Ellis Crooked Little Vein 216: I just want to get done with this job that has scared the shit out of me.
[Aus]L. Redhead Cherry Pie [ebook] She could still scare the shit out of me.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 49: ‘What? I frighten you?’ ‘Scared the shit out of me is more like it’.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] I could tell Izzy wasn’t happy with our life together, which scared the shit out of me.
slap the shit out of (v.)

to beat severely.

[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Whoreson 253: I leaned over and slapped the shit out of her.
[US]E. Torres Q&A 138: He tried to wire up one of my clients against me [...] I called him up and told him I was gonna slap the shit outta him.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 180: ‘Don’t go gettin’ ethnic with me, potato head, or I’ll slap the shit outta you ...’ ‘You couldn’t slap the shit out of a squirrel.’.