more shit

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Sep 23 19:44:41 UTC 2011

Another positive shit:

"the shit", as per OED:

7. orig. and chiefly in African-American usage. In predicative use with the. The very best; the acme of excellence. Cf. A. 9c.

1987    UNC-CH Campus Slang (Univ. North Carolina, Chapel Hill) (typescript) Fall 7   Wow, that leather jacket's really the shit.
1991    Source Oct. 39   That was the shit. I was excited.
1993    B. Cross It's not about Salary 281   Ruby Dee, JDL and Grandmaster Caz, and even Whipper Whip had my moments too. I can't front, I thought they were the shit.
2008    N.Y. Mag. 15 Dec. 30/3,   I feel like I'm the shit when I drink. I feel invincible.

Then there's "good shit" in druglish, where of course it's mostly the adjective that contributes the positive evaluation.  

As far as "(not) worth a shit", mentioned upthread--I've mostly heard "(not) worth shit", in the anarthrous version.  (Also not mentioned in the OED entry, unlike "good shit" and "the shit" above.)  cf. also "jackshit" as something else of proverbially little value or quantity ("You (don't) know jackshit about it").  

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