Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shit adj.

[shit n.]

1. (orig. US) applied to any thing or person considered bad, obnoxious, unpleasant, inferior, worthless, e.g. a shit teacher.

[US]E. Hemingway letter 23 May in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 162: All criticism is shit anyway.
[US]Kerouac letter 24 June in Charters I (1995) 320: Lucien thinks it’s shit.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Billy Liar (1962) 181: You think you’re it but you’re shit!
[US](con. 1950s) McAleer & Dickson Unit Pride (1981) 212: Someone figured it for a shit detail.
[UK]M. Novotny Kings Road 211: Get over here fast, and cool that shit talk!
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 139: People are shit. They’re scum.
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 31: She wasn’t going to take no shit duty from no mick dick.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We have No 141: Shit is his life, but his life’s not shit.
[US]C. Hiaasen Nature Girl 21: It was a shit job, anyway.
[UK]Guardian 8 Aug. [Internet] How about you go and pay rent to the landlord, earn shit money doing a labouring job.
[UK]J. Fagan Panopticon (2013) 159: How come the nice people always get the shit nick.
[UK]Observer (London) New Rev. 19 Feb. 7/3: ‘Even if I was the shittest prick on earth’.

2. untidy, unkempt.

[UK]G. Melly Owning Up (1974) 99: We could dress in shit order, fall about drunk, and tell people who criticized us or our music to get stuffed.

3. on the bad = good model, excellent, first-rate.

[US](con. 1982–6) T. Williams Cocaine Kids (1990) 112: So, sure to hell, he tells me I wasn’t shit, that I was fucking around.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 8 Oct. 21: DJ Gregg has [...] a Peavey bass guitar he says is ‘really shit’.
[UK]Guardian Guide 1–6 Jan. 18: This serious ill shit bit of kit.

4. (UK black) any.

[UK]A. Wheatle Dirty South 44: I ain’t got shit qualifications.