Steve Hicks Hixmaddog at AOL.COM
Tue May 1 03:28:33 UTC 2001

As I recall, "shitepoke" was in OED since the
14th Century.  Compounded of shite-, "shit;"
and -poke, "bag."   Usually referred to the blue
heron or a bittern.....(a satirical Boston broadside
of the early 1770's likened British troops disem-
barking to "shitepokes....running to and fro on the

Most people I talked to, in various parts of the country,
knew it as a bird-name.  One man told me tongue-in-
cheek that the name came from the bird's habit of
"defecating when flushed."

Those who'd heard it applied to people generally found
the origin of the term in the fact that a "shitepoke" ma-
lingered, especially by spending inordinate amounts of
time in the bathroom when there was work to do.

                                                             Steve Hicks

                                                             Steve Hicks
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