Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
Old English scitan, from Proto-Germanic *skit- (cognates: North Frisian skitj, Dutch schijten, German scheissen), from PIE *skei- "to cut, split, divide, separate" (see shed (v.)). The notion is of "separation" from the body (compare Latin excrementum, from excernere "to separate," Old English scearn "dung, muck," from scieran "to cut, shear;" see sharn). It is thus a cousin to science and conscience.\n
\n"Shit" is not an acronym. The notion that it is a recent word might be partly because it was taboo from c.1600 and rarely appeared in print (neither Shakespeare nor the KJV has it), and even in "vulgar" publications of the late 18c. it is disguised by dashes. It drew the wrath of censors as late as 1922 ("Ulysses" and "The Enormous Room"), scandalized magazine subscribers in 1957 (a Hemingway story in "Atlantic Monthly") and was omitted from some dictionaries as recently as 1970 ("Webster's New World").\n
\nExtensive slang usage; meaning "to lie, to tease" is from 1934; that of "to disrespect" is from 1903. Shite, now a jocular or slightly euphemistic and chiefly British variant of the noun, formerly a dialectal variant, reflects the vowel in the Old English verb (compare German scheissen); the modern verb has been influenced by the noun. Shat is a humorous past tense form, not etymological, first recorded 18c. To shit bricks "be very frightened" attested by 1961. The connection between fear and involuntary defecation has generated expressions in English since 14c. (the image also is in Latin), and probably also is behind scared shitless (1936).\nAlle þe filþ of his magh ['maw'] salle breste out atte his fondament for drede. ["Cursor Mundi," early 14c.]
Old English scitte "purging, diarrhea," from source of shit (v.). Sense of "excrement" dates from 1580s (Old English had scytel, Middle English shitel for "dung, excrement;" the usual 14c. noun seems to have been turd). Use for "obnoxious person" is since at least 1508; meaning "misfortune, trouble" is attested from 1937. Shit-faced "drunk" is 1960s student slang; shit list is from 1942. Up shit creek "in trouble" is from 1937 (compare salt river). To not give a shit "not care" is from 1922. Pessimistic expression Same shit different day attested by 1989. Shitticism is Robert Frost's word for scatological writing.\n\nThe expression [the shit hits the fan] is related to, and may well derive from, an old joke. A man in a crowded bar needed to defecate but couldn't find a bathroom, so he went upstairs and used a hole in the floor. Returning, he found everyone had gone except the bartender, who was cowering behind the bar. When the man asked what had happened, the bartender replied, 'Where were you when the shit hit the fan?'
[Hugh Rawson, "Wicked Words," 1989]
1 (context vulgar colloquial English) Of poor quality; worthless. 2 (context vulgar colloquial English) nasty; despicable. n. 1 (context countable uncountable colloquial vulgar English) Solid excretory product evacuated from the bowels; feces. 2 (context countable colloquial vulgar in the plural definite English) ('''the shits''') diarrhea. 3 (context countable colloquial vulgar English) An instance of defecation. 4 (context uncountable vulgar colloquial English) rubbish; worthless matter. 5 (context uncountable vulgar colloquial English) stuff, things. 6 (context uncountable colloquial vulgar definite English) ('''the shit''') The best of its kind. 7 (context uncountable vulgar colloquial English) nonsense; bullshit. 8 (context countable vulgar colloquial English) A nasty, despicable person, used particularly of men. 9 (context uncountable vulgar colloquial English) (''in negations'') anything. 10 (context uncountable vulgar colloquial English) A problem or difficult situation. 11 (context uncountable vulgar colloquial English) A strong rebuke. 12 (context uncountable vulgar colloquial English) any recreational drug, usually cannabis. Etymology 2
interj. 1 (context vulgar English) Expression of worry, failure, shock, etc., often at something seen for the first time or remembered immediately before using this term. 2 (context vulgar English) To show displeasure or surprise. v
1 (context intransitive vulgar colloquial English) To defecate. 2 (context transitive vulgar colloquial English) To excrete (something) through the anus. 3 (context transitive vulgar colloquial English) To fool or try to fool someone; to be deceitful. 4 (context transitive vulgar colloquial Australia English) To annoy.
a coarse term for defecation; "he took a shit" [syn: dump]
Shit is an English-language vulgarism, literally referring to feces, but having many metaphoric uses.
Shit or The shit may also refer to:
"Shit" (stylized as "Sh!t", edited for radio as "Shhh...") is a song by American hip hop recording artist Future. It was released on September 24, 2013, as the third single from his second studio album, Honest (2014). The song has since peaked at number 45 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
Shit is a word that is usually considered vulgar and profane in Modern English. As a noun it refers to fecal matter, and as a verb it means to defecate; in the plural ("the shits") it means diarrhea. Shite is a common variant in British and Irish English. As a slang term, it has many meanings, including: nonsense, foolishness, something of little value or quality, trivial and usually boastful or inaccurate talk, or a contemptible person. It may also be used as an expression of annoyance, surprise, or anger.
Usage examples of "shit".
And so, trapped in this ambivalent double bind, God tortures Schreber by producing in him the imperious urge to shit, while simultaneously denying him the ability to do so.
Get you high on some mean shit they call basuco, made from coke but takes hold of you worse.
Shit, he was backing her into a corner and there was nothing Breezy hated more.
My family role had always been the burier of dead animals, the shoveler of shit, the cleaner of vomit.
By order of Gaius Justus Gallicus, under-commander of the Sixth Legion, commander of the Third and Fourth Centuries, under authority of Emperor Tiberius and the Roman Empire, you are all commanded to go home and perpetrate no weird shit until I have gotten well drunk and had several days to sleep it off.
The waste management system had been thoroughly modernised in recent years, and organic microfilters worked hard to reprocess all the daily shit the city could produce.
And here we see the effects of malnutrition and the effects of overcrowded, unsanitary shantytowns and overfilled garbage dumps and we see thin, ribby, curly-tailed dogs digging on heaps of decomposing rubbish on which children play and pick and shit.
There are lots of neurotransmitter precursors in this shit, phenylalanine and glutamate.
Any space was rentable, not only bedrooms to girls for turning tricks, kitchen to dealers cutting up their shit, but closets for stashing quantities in transit, corridors and couches for slumping against.
With all that shit breaking loose, a lot of buildings were retooling to cope.
Great for sniffing threats both animated and fixed, great for hearing subtle whines and rustles that even AI sensors would neglect, and absolutely wonderful for scaring the shit out of people.
Wes petted him distractedly, then schlumped into the kitchen, turning on the light, checking for dog shit.
Those screwing contractors been trying to fix and patch up shit and I had to earn five weeks of overtime in two weeks.
Shit, even two might not be enough, but it was all he figured he could get from Doc Sherve and his crowd.
A thousand children are shuffling out these doors tonight, but only rare nights will even one come in, home to your sprung, spermy bed, the wind over the gasworks, closer smells of mold on wet coffee grounds, cat shit, pale sweaters with the pits heaped in a corner, in some accidental gesture, slink or embrace.