Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shit, the phr.

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

1. [mid-19C; 1930s+] (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.

2. [1960s+] (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.

3. [2000s+] the epitome, the very best.

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)

[1920s+] to beat severely; thus kick-shitting adj.

knock the shit out of (v.) (also knock the dog shit out of, knock the shite out of)

1. [1950s+] to beat severely.

2. in fig. use of sense 1.

scare the (living) shit(s) out of (v.) (also frighten the shit out of, scare the holy shit out of)

[1920s+] (orig. US) to terrify.

slap the shit out of (v.)

[1960s+] to beat severely.