[Ads-l] "You live in shit!"

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Wed May 20 16:21:02 UTC 2015


I'll add to DanG's thought, that there are or were British (army?) sayings
along the lines of "he'd fall in a shit hole and find a gold watch" -- he's
born lucky.

GAT

On Wed, May 20, 2015 at 11:16 AM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com> wrote:

> I was thinking it was an extreme version of "you step in shit and come out
> blooming like a rose".
>
> DanG
>
> On Wed, May 20, 2015 at 9:49 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: "You live in shit!"
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > New to me.
> >
> > Poss. cf. "Happy as a pig in shit."
> >
> > JL
> >
> > On Tue, May 19, 2015 at 9:45 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > > -----------------------
> > > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > > Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> > > Subject:      "You live in shit!"
> > >
> > >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > Some years ago, I mentioned this bit of GI slang, of which there was no
> > > trace, at the time, except in my memory and in those of the few Army
> > > buddies with whom I'm still in contact, a half-century later. Now,
> there
> > > are 24,621 raw G-hits, Web and Books combined.
> > >
> > > And they are all appear to be used as expected: as insults.
> > >
> > > In the Army, the phrase meant,
> > >
> > > "Wow! You are really *lucky*!" "Everything is breaking your way!" "How
> in
> > > hell are *you* so fortunate?!" "I really *envy* you your good fortune!"
> > > Etc.
> > >
> > > It was a friendly expression of envy that something had gone right -
> > > seemingly out of nowhere - for someone else, as when the someone
> somehow
> > > forgot to put on his insignia before an inspection, only to have it
> > happen
> > > that the inspection was carried out by a Navy officer, who didn't
> notice
> > > anything wrong with an Army uniform.
> > >
> > > As for the semantic development, fifty years of pondering it has given
> me
> > > no clue.
> > >
> > > --
> > > -Wilson
> > > -----
> > > All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> > > come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> > > -Mark Twain
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998..

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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