Fecal compounds

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Donna Cassata, "Lindsey Graham: 'My Party Has Gone Batshit Crazy'", USN 2/26/2016:

Sen. Lindsey Graham is disgusted with the GOP's embrace of Donald Trump: "My party has gone batshit crazy."

In no-holds-barred remarks at a celebratory dinner Thursday night, the South Carolina senator and unsuccessful presidential candidate said the GOP has lost all semblance of sanity and predicted the party will suffer irrevocable losses in November if it backs Trump.

A set of video clips can be found here. The critical passage — which includes a dig at Hillary Clinton:

Well look how far you've come.
The most dishonest person in America's a woman.
Who's about to be president.
How could that be?
My party has gone batshit crazy.

One result has been some interest in the word batshit, e.g.  Fred Clark, "Where did the word-of-the-moment come from? To the Bat Cave!", patheos 2/28/2016.  I have little to add to the discussion of chiroptera excrement, but there's a broader question about the meanings that have accrued over time to a half-dozen or so specific types of animal feces. In each case, I've quoted and linked to Wiktionary's gloss(es):

apeshit: "Out of control due to anger or excitement"
batshit: "Too irrational to be dealt with sanely"
bullshit: "False or exaggerated statements made to impress and deceive the listener rather than inform"
chickenshit: "Petty and contemptible; contemptibly unimportant"; "Cowardly"
dogshit: "Something disgusting, abominable, or useless."
horseshit: "Serious harassment or abuse"; "Blatant nonsense, more likely stemming from ignorance than any intent to deceive"

(There are a few marginal cases — whaleshit, wormshit — that I'm familiar with only in expressions like "lower than __shit".)

But there are lot of familiar animals whose excrement has no conventional value, as far as I know: catshit, cowshit,  duckshit, goatshit, rabbitshit, sharkshit, sheepshit,  snakeshit,

Even some kinds of animal excrement that figure in common expressions have no independent usage. "Does a bear shit in the woods?" hasn't resulted in bearshit meaning (say) "Something too obvious to need saying". "Like shit through a goose" hasn't resulted in gooseshit meaning (say) "Something trivially easy to process".

As far as I can tell, the other languages where I'm competent to survey the relevant dictionaries don't have a similar set of conventionally differentiated meanings for different sorts of animal excrement. Thus the French Wiktionary page for merde offers many derivatives and expressions, but none of this type; and similarly the pages for Scheiße, strontmerda, mierda, etc. Though maybe this is just because the wikilexicographers haven't gotten so deeply into the subject in other languages.

Or maybe Anglophone linguistic culture really is uniquely full of shit. English certainly has (I think) an unusually large number of phrases and expressions involving that word:

are you shitting me?, (as) X as shit, (as) happy as a pig in shit, (not MODAL) VERB for shit, (when) the shit hits the fan, VERB the shit out of, VERBED to shit, ain't shit, and shit, bad shit, big shit, built like a brick shithouse, crock of shit, does a bear shit in the woods, don't shit where you eat, dumb shit, eat shit (and die), for shit's sake, for shits and giggles, full of shit, get/have xr shit together, give a shit, good shit, holy shit, hot shit, in the shit, king shit, know xr shit, like shit, like shit through a goose, like stink on shit, lose xr shit, no shit (Sherlock), not know jack shit, not know shit (from shinola), not know whether to shit or go blind, piece of shit, same old shit, same shit different day, scared shitless, shitcan (vt), shit-eating grin, shit a brick, shit fire, shit fit, shit for brains, shit happens, shit heap, shit hole, shit hot, shitkicker, shit list, shit on a shingle, shit or get off the pot, shit out of luck, shit pile, shit sandwich, shit show, shit stain, shit stirrer, shit storm, shit the bed, shit through a tin horn, shit ton, shit xr pants, shit-faced, shitass, shitbird, shithead, shitheel, shitload, shitting match, shitwork, shoot the shit, slicker than cat shit (on a linoleum floor), sure as shit, talk shit, the shit, think xr shit don't stink, tough shit, up shit creek (without a paddle), went (out) to shit and the hog ate him

Some additional animal-shit bibliography:

Harry Frankfurt, On Bullshit, 2005
Jenny Neill/Lexie Kahn, "Dunged: On 'Bat Sh%t Crazy'", 3/21/2013
Mark Peters, "A slang word that's spreading like crazy", American Speech 2006
Mark Peters, Bullshit: A Lexicon, 2015
"Where did the phrase “batsh*t crazy” come from?", English Language and Usage 8/18/2011

And there's no animal excement involved, but I can't resist quoting another part of Senator Graham's speech that seems to have been overshadowed by the interest in his use of batshit:

U.S. Senators have fought physically on the floor of the Senate at least once, but I don't think there's any precedent for a statement of this kind. One obvious conclusion is that Senator Graham should consider a career change — quoting Andrew O'Hehir, "The ballad of Lindsey Graham, Republican truth-teller and aspiring late-night comic, and the death of the GOP", Salon 3/3/2016:

Graham has the soul of a poet, or at least of a late-night TV host, which in terms of 21st-century culture is roughly the same thing.



  1. john burke said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 1:00 pm

    Variants: shit through a tin horn, not know shit from apple butter, shithead (term of abuse), shitfaced (very drunk), went (out) to shit and the hogs ate him (explanation of someone's absence).

    [(myl) Shitfaced and shithead are in my list — I'm not familiar with the other three, but I'll add them on your authority.]

  2. MattF said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 1:18 pm

    Also not know shit from Shinola. It's interesting that the Shinola brand has been revivied, but it's not shoe polish any more– it's sorta-luxury goods like leather accessories and watches.

    [(myl) Already in the list.]

  3. Nathan said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 1:22 pm

    Can't find the song now, but a '90s acid jazz compilation featured the word "catshit" in a couplet I never forgot:

    Swim the 'Lantic Ocean and don't drown
    Eat a bucket of catshit and don't frown

    "Catshit" might not have a conventional value, but between this and "Anchorman," I definitely associate eating it with uncommon fortitude…

  4. Michael Gatton said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 1:25 pm

    From the kids today, to say that someone or something is "the shit," is a good thing, it's like "the bomb" in previous slang fads..


  5. Nathan said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 1:38 pm

    …And then of course "slicker than cat shit (on a linoleum floor)."

    [(myl) I'm not familiar with that one, but I'll add it to the list.]

    Great observation here, by the way – it never would have occurred to me that English is unique in giving different meanings to different types of animal excrement this way.

  6. David L said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 2:10 pm

    I've come across some people who will use SOL as an abbreviation in texts or emails, or will even say 'ess-oh-ell,' but I suspect they would shy away from actually saying 'shit out of luck.' I assume they know what the letters stand for, but possibly not. Or else they have a more benign interpretation of it, as in WTF = why the frown?

  7. Bruce Rusk said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 2:15 pm

    Chinese, on the other hands, distinguishes flatulence by species in a way English doesn't. Goupi 狗屁, "dogfart," refers to things (especially words) that are vacuous or worthless. Mapi 马屁, "horsefart," is flattery.

  8. Chips Mackinolty said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 2:22 pm

    Then there is "built like a brick shithouse".

    [(myl) Missed that one — I'll add it.]

    The apparent lack of compounds in other languages may well be due to different ways of forming expressions. For example in Italian it might be "tempo di merda", rather than shit weather, "cazzo di merde" etc.

    And it is far worse to be up shit creek "in a barbed wire canoe" without a paddle. Christ only knows where the metaphor of a barbed wire canoe came from, but it is an excruciating thought.

  9. Chips Mackinolty said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

    On sending the above relised that in Australian English, at leas,t has two meanings for shithouse. One is very negative ("How are you feeling?" "Shithouse"), and built like a brick shithouse (strong, well built). Curious.

  10. Y said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 2:36 pm

    I don't know Japanese, but I heard that "fish-shit" means, aptly, a hanger-on, a person who trails you and won't go away.

  11. Kiwanda said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 3:41 pm

    Shitlords get called out a lot these days, sometimes on their shitposting. It's one of the few remaining nonproblematic insults.


  12. Doctor Science said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 3:45 pm

    As I said in the other thread, it's very surprising how recent these formations are — chickenshit, for instance, seems to date from WWII, while the first citation for bullshit is from West Point.

    Batshit and apeshit also are first attested in military contexts, so I think we can conclude that the military life is where cussing comes from.

    In books I have often read of someone "swearing like a sailor/longshoreman/stevedore", but I don't know what cusswords or -phrases might have come out of the seafaring culture into general use.

    I would have thought that, as shit is a human universal, metaphoric varieties of shit would have a longer history. I wonder if the fact that in modern society most of us have to deal with shit a lot less often than our great-grandparents did has freed the concept to become more metaphoric and even philosophical.

    [(myl) I should give your earlier comment credit for stimulating this post.

    As for the antiquity of these usages, the OED has citations back to 1508 for the basic figurative shit (glossed as "An offensive or despicable person (usually a man); a person (usually a man) whose behaviour is regarded as obnoxious"):

    1508   W. Kennedy Flyting (Chepman & Myllar) in P. Bawcutt Poems W. Dunbar (1998) I. 216   [Thou art] A schit but wit.
    a1585   A. Montgomerie Flyting with Polwart (Tullibardine) in Poems (2000) I. 142   Schort mischappin schit.
    1675   in H. Paton Kingarth Parish Rec. (1932) 103   He had basely slanderd him calling shit, thief, beast.

    As for the phrases, "up shit creek" is cited back to 1868, "VERB the shit out of" to 1886, "give a shit" to 1918. Most of the others seem to be more recent, mid-20th C or later — though it's possible that this tells us more about the cultural history of publishing than about the history of the phrases involved.]

  13. m said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 3:48 pm

    Shit-eating grin? Or did I miss it on the list?

    [(myl) Nope, I forgot it.]

  14. Linda said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 4:12 pm

    And then there's "soft as pig's (shit)" of a person who doesn't stand up for himself.

  15. Rosie Redfield said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 4:25 pm

    Kathleen Meyer's How to Shit in the Woods (Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/How-Shit-Woods-Edition-Environmentally/dp/1580083633) has an excellent glossary of shit-words, as well as being the definitive reference guide to dealing with bodily functions in the great outdoors. It also offers some hilarious examples of doing things wrong.

  16. bratschegirl said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 4:27 pm

    "Are you shitting me?" for are you kidding me/can you possibly be serious. And when my kid was in high school, the slightly euphemized (is that a word?) version of 'shit ton" was "crapton," which was mostly spoken rather than written down, so I don't know if it's one word, two, hyphenated…

  17. Bloix said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 4:29 pm

    like stink on shit"- said of someone who stays close or hovers around someone else ("at the party, he was on her like s on s, or, he was on the wide receiver like s on s) – bowdlerized to "like white on rice."

  18. Rubrick said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 4:59 pm

    I feel obliged to quote the following sports cheer written by George Carlin:

    Ratshit, batshit, dirty old twat!
    Sixty-nine assholes tied in a knot!
    Hurray, lizardshit, fuck!

    I believe scholars are still debating the semantic significance of this enigmatic cheer.

  19. J. W. Brewer said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 5:04 pm

    Batshit was, as one form of guano, of some significance to the U.S. economy and foreign policy in the 19th century, but if the sense in question did not arise until circa WW2, I'm thinking it was unlikely to have arisen out of widespread personal experience with the particular variety of excrement. Rather, it seems plausibly related to phrases like "bats in the belfry" and the like, although I must say I don't know why, when, or where flying mammals first became associated with irrationality for English-language-metaphor purposes.

  20. Keith said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 5:19 pm

    "Shit with sugar on it", various meanings along the lines of "something worthless that has been unconvincingly improved", or it is given in exasperated response to repeated and annoying questions like "what's for supper".

    A brick shithouse is an outside toilet (dunny, netty); terms such as "brick shithouse" usually have a less vulgar version using the word "outhouse".

    To mix together the word "shit" with sexual vulgarity, we have "she bangs like a shithouse door in a force ten gale" for a woman who makes a lot of noise during enthusiastic intercourse. As an aside, a British military term would be "she bangs like a belt-fed Wombat".

    Maybe this discussion would have been more at home on Strong Language?

  21. Keith said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 5:22 pm

    @J.M.Brewer: "I don't know why, when, or where flying mammals first became associated with irrationality for English-language-metaphor purposes"

    At a guess, the "why" is that at night we see bats flitting about without any apparent reason, constantly changing direction as they chase the insects we can't see… they just seem to dart around at random.

  22. Doctor Science said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 5:41 pm


    Oh yes, metaphoric uses of "shit" go way back, probably back a good deal further than we have textual evidence. But for specific animal shit to have distinct meanings seems to be a 20th-C thing, and that's what seems to me so unexpected.

    And it looks to me as though in English animalshit takes the usual metaphoric meaning of the animal and amplifies it (negatively). Whereas the Japanese fish-shit metaphor relies on observation of actual goldfish shit.

    [(myl) The "metaphoric amplification" theory works well for batshit, and for the "cowardly" sense of chickenshit, but I don't see that bulls are stereotypically eager to impress without regard for truth, or that horses are stereotypically ignorant, or that chickens are stereotypically petty, or that dogs are stereotypically disgusting or useless …]

  23. William Berry said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 6:09 pm

    Referring to someone despise or held in utter contempt by the speaker.: "Didn't know you could stack shit that high."

  24. William Berry said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 6:10 pm

    Sorry, should be "despised".

  25. Rebecca said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 6:20 pm

    There's monkeyshit, a goop for filling holes

  26. mollymooly said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 6:21 pm

    The entries containing "shit" from Jonathon Green's Dictionary of Slang are freely available from the OUP, although the definitions are behind a paywall.

    To which list I can add

    * dipshit
    * as rare as rocking-horse shit
    * MODAL eat the corn out of xr shit
    * shower of shit (usually shortened to "shower" in my experience)

  27. Jerry Friedman said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 6:22 pm

    A variant of "think xr shit don't stink" is "think xr shit smells like roses".

    Another one not on the list is "(lying) sack of shit".

    Maybe not in general enough use for the list, but a friend in grad school in the '80s liked to say, "He thinks he's hot shit in a champagne glass, but really he's cold diarrhea in a Dixie cup." (I like it, but I'd use only the first clause.) That seems to have been picked up by a TV show called The Venture Bros.

  28. Geoff said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 6:27 pm

    Australia calling here, where trying to achieve the impossible is 'like pushing shit uphill with a sharp stick'. Generally with implication that it would be foolish even to try.

  29. Roscoe said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 6:52 pm

    "He thinks he walks on water, and he's right: shit floats!"

  30. Victor Mair said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 7:22 pm

    From Wikipedia:


    Shit stick means "a thin stake or stick used instead of toilet paper" and was a historical item of material culture introduced through Chinese Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism. A well-known example is gānshǐjué/kanshiketsu (lit. 乾屎橛 "dry shit stick") from the Chan/Zen gōng'àn/kōan in which a monk asked "What is Buddha?" and Master Yunmen/Unmon answered "A dry shit stick".


    People in Zen studies know the expression in English, though it was borrowed from Sino-Japanese.

  31. Randy Hudson said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 8:29 pm

    Also shitcan (vt), shitkicker, and shitstorm, all of which are listed with the expected definitions in SOED.

  32. Theophylact said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 9:08 pm

    Shit on a shingle = creamed chipped beef on toast

  33. Reinhold {Rey} Aman said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 9:23 pm

    S.O.S. = same old shit.

  34. David P said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 11:26 pm

    I used to see or hear, although it's been a while, USCWAP. The spelled out version is in your list.

  35. David Morris said,

    March 5, 2016 @ 11:29 pm

    The 'Thursday Next' books by Jasper Fforde have an antagonist named Jack Schitt. A sequel introduces his half-brother, Schitt-Hawse, whose given name is later revealed to be 'Brik'. I should have caught on when another sequel introduces Dr Wirthless, who is revealed to be Schitt's wife (Wirthless-Schitt). Foorde is playing for laughs, of course.

  36. Victor Mair said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 12:16 am

    know xr shit

    The expression has been noted above several times in the negative, but it also occurs in the positive.

  37. GH said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 5:38 am

    It seems possible to me that in some of these cases (specifically batshit, apeshit and perhaps chickenshit), the association of the meaning with the animal may have come first, with -shit added on later as an intensifier. To "go ape" makes more literal sense than to "go apeshit."

  38. GH said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 5:43 am

    Damn! (Or perhaps more appropriately to the context: Shit!)

    Hadn't updated the page to see that this had already been touched on by Doctor Science.

  39. bks said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 9:03 am

    My favorite discovery in the unabridged dictionary of the high school library:

  40. Zeppelin said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 9:34 am

    A term of protest that has some currency in German right now is "sexistische Kackscheiße" (sexist crapshit). I quite like that one.

    Additionally you can freely form compounds with "scheiß" as their first member (Scheißwetter, Scheißjob…) , or else use it as some sort of adjective in the same role as "fucking" – ("Mir ist die scheiß Bierflasche auf den Fuß gefallen!" — "I [accidentally] dropped the fucking beer bottle on my foot!"). My intuition seems to vary between "compound noun" and "adjective + noun" depending on the exact context…

    But we don't have the English (American?) spectrum of animal shit terms. Which is a shame because they are frankly delightful.
    I find the intensifier explanation plausible, they remind me of the "[adjective]-ass" for "very [adjective]" construction.

  41. Pflaumbaum said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 9:44 am

    There's a stream-of-consciousness meditation on shit from Shinola in the late, subjectively disintegrating passages of Gravity's Rainbow, after Pig Bodine's German dope buddy requests a definition.

  42. Theophylact said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 12:16 pm

    As a chemist, I would add to the list of fecal compounds bilirubin, skatole, and methanethiol.

  43. Theophylact said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

    I have been told, however, that ultrapurified, single-crystal skatole is odorless.

  44. Gibby said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 12:38 pm

    My grandmother (north-east Scotland) uses the word "batchy" to mean "crazy", used just like "batshit". An old copy of Partridge has it as "army slang, early 20th c., possible Hindi origin" or words to that effect iirc. Also, see the following stackexchange page:


    Batchy, batshit, perhaps..

  45. Rodger C said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 12:49 pm

    US Army, ~1970: to react with consternation: to shit a blue brick. I was nonplussed: I didn't know whether to shit or go blind.

  46. Thomas Forster said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 2:04 pm

    I DO like `bearshit' and i intend to use it. On the more general point, i think the use of excrement-related words in the way our correspondents have been indicating is – to my British ears – a very american thing. Many of those idioms definitely do not belong to our dialect over here. [and this is not a point about register] You're an anal bunch over there: we seem to curse more with sex. God knows what it all means.

  47. Alec said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 2:24 pm

    Somewhere in a blog comment that I can no longer find, an anonymous commenter described some business decision taken during the 2007 financial crisis as "like driving through a shit storm to the shit store to buy shit".

  48. Tjaard B. said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 5:48 pm

    "A term of protest that has some currency in German right now is "sexistische Kackscheiße" (sexist crapshit). I quite like that one. […] But we don't have the English (American?) spectrum of animal shit terms. Which is a shame because they are frankly delightful."

    We might add 'Kinderkacke' as a recent example of similar tendencies in German:


  49. Bloix said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 6:11 pm

    The WWII expression "sad sack of shit'- often shortened to "sad sack" – meaning an incompetent soldier. Something a drill sergeant would say.

  50. chris said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 6:56 pm

    "Shit with sugar on it", various meanings along the lines of "something worthless that has been unconvincingly improved", or it is given in exasperated response to repeated and annoying questions like "what's for supper".

    Also, "polish a turd". Is that close enough to count?

    loose xr shit

    Should be "lose"?

    P.S. Scared shitless

  51. Harry Styron said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 11:15 pm

    "Weirder than owlshit" is a figure of speech that I have heard in southern Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

  52. Joyce Melton said,

    March 7, 2016 @ 12:40 am

    A few more:
    "like trying to shit up a pole"
    "can't find shit with both hands on xr ass"
    "lower than whaleshit on the bottom of the ocean"
    "shitrag" (the filthy rag used when bussing tables)
    "when the buffalo shits" (indefinite time in the future when someone chintzy finally pays for something, usually the government or a government agency)
    "when the eagle shits" (payday in the army)
    "fuck that shit"
    "smells for (x)shit" (suspicious, disgusting or treacherous).

  53. Matthew Wright said,

    March 7, 2016 @ 6:31 am

    I always assumed that 'go apeshit' was an anti-euphemistic variation on 'go bananas' but maybe not. Or maybe it's the other way round?

  54. Eneri Rose said,

    March 7, 2016 @ 11:07 am

    I prefer the alliteration in bat-crap crazy.

  55. Q. Pheevr said,

    March 7, 2016 @ 11:12 am

    Here's a Canadianism to add to the animal-shit compounds list: loonshit. The definition in that link calls it "grasping quagmire type muck"; the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations lists it as a synonym for sedimentary peat:

    Peat formed beneath a body of standing water composed of aquatic plant debris modified by aquatic animals. Material is loosely consolidated, slightly sticky, dark brown to black and usually well decomposed (humic).

    So it's perhaps a bit more literal than some of the other examples, but I don't think the loons can actually take credit for all of the 'modification' that has been done to the plant debris.

  56. Y said,

    March 7, 2016 @ 11:26 am

    Is shitbird a dysphemism of stool pigeon?

  57. Terry Hunt said,

    March 7, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

    I can contribute a term which I myself only learned the other week, from an ex-Royal Navy cook friend of mine.

    Apparently "Shit on a Raft" is a popular ship-board dish comprising a square of toast with a perimeter 'wall' of mashed potato, filled with minced liver or similar. I think it's grilled, but to be honest the conversation was rather well lubricated and I may have forgotten a nuance or two.

  58. popegrutch said,

    March 7, 2016 @ 12:18 pm

    "But there are lot of familiar animals whose excrement has no conventional value, as far as I know: catshit, cowshit, duckshit, goatshit, rabbitshit, sharkshit, sheepshit, snakeshit, …"

    Although it offers no clue as to its possible definition, I am aware of a source that uses "sheepshit" as a noun. In the movie "Repo Man" (1984), when the mysterious alien car fires a bolt of lightning at a fundamentalist preacher, lighting his large, gilt-edged Bible on fire, the pastor in question utters the phrase:
    "Holy Sheepshit!"
    So far as I can recall, however, this phrase was never in wide use.

  59. JR said,

    March 7, 2016 @ 3:55 pm

    Has seen plenty of "whaleshit" in Louisville (KY), where it refers to a level of crazy quite far beyond simple batshit crazy.

  60. Freddy said,

    March 8, 2016 @ 5:38 am

    Sheepshit is used in one of the old Cheech and Chong movies "Holy Sheepshit!", says Cheech.

  61. t_u said,

    March 8, 2016 @ 10:23 pm

    I wonder why Russian haven't been brought up, with its famous compound profanities.
    The word ебать (to fuck) takes new meanings depending on affixes, such as
    уебать, въебать, ёбнуть – to punch someone
    отъебошить – to beat someone up
    заебать – to tire someone
    заебаться – to tire oneself
    отъебаться – to leave someone alone
    разъебать – to break something
    Many of these have euphemistic counterparts, often using the root -долб- instead of -еб-.

  62. Keith said,

    March 11, 2016 @ 1:45 pm


    Well, because this discussion is about the word "shit", not the word "fuck".

    If we want to drag Russian into this discussion, maybe we should have the expression "можно из говна конфетку сделать", which is practically the opposite of the English "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear".

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