"... is the shit."

Here’s a slang expression that makes absolutely no sense to me. When you greatly approve of something, when you want to praise it, you say it “is the shit.” Huh?!? :confused: You express how wonderful it is by comparing it to feces—although if you actually encountered said feces, you feel extreme disgust and avoid coming in contact with it?

Let me get this straight. If your friend asks, “Hey, how was the movie?” and you answer “It is shit,” that means you thought it was contemptible and worthless. But if you say “it is the shit,” that means you thought it was excellent!

If you think your favorite food is the finest of cuisine, and say it “is the shit” — then how would you like to sit down at the table and find some actual shit on your plate? Would you relish it with gusto? I think not! This has got to be the stupidest expression I’ve ever heard.

Yeah. What’s up with that? :slight_smile:

Well, then just say “it’s the shiz-nit” instead…that is soooo much cooler!!!

Voices tell me I’m the shit…

(courtesy of the Eels)

I don’t understand it, but then again I don’t get why “standing under” something means to make sense of it, and you don’t hear me complaining about that.

Anything sounds cooler with a z in it, you biznatch. :slight_smile:

and “the” sounds cooler spelled tha, S-dogg. :slight_smile:

That would be S-dawg.

I like saying that stuff is “the shit.” It just sounds so naughty and against the status quo. Perhaps that sentiment is what inspired the creation and use of this expression. Obviously, “the shit” doesn’t have anything to do with real shit. If that were the case, then folks would say that stuff is “shitty.” [shrug]

I am, however, fascinated by this “shizz-nat” business. When did this expression gain popularity? Who decided to add the “z” in there. IIRC, I haven’t heard other folks use it outside of this message board.

I suspect it’s derived from 60-70’s drug user lingo where the ever popular “This is good shit!” became contracted to “This is THE shit!” and has now matricualted into popular culture as “*** is the shit” referring to any person or commodity who is powerful, admired, popular etc etc.

A friend of mine came home one night to someone breaking in his house. The guy had an armful of stuff, and my friend smacked him with a golf club, but the guy got up and ran out of the door. The robber was wearing a t-shirt that said “Karl’s the shit!”


It seems to me that the added z came from the expression bizatch, which seemed to have evolved as follows: bitch -> biiitch -> beeyatch --> bizatch. (don’t ask me why a z.)

AFAIK, “shiznit” is a descendant of “bee-atch,” which I first heard on the 1992(?) Dr. Dre album, “The Chronic,” although it very well may have been around before then. “Bee-atch” morphed into “bizitch,” which then applied itself to other obscenities. I don’t know how that happened, but then again, I don’t know how “fo’shizzel, my nizzel” (translation: “for sure, my n***a”) happened either.


The origin of “beeotch” has been asked many times on the SDMB. I’ve always contended it first gained popularity with 2-Short, a rapper who used it frequently and before Snoop ever did (that is, in the 80s). Others claim different derivations.

Adding the “z” to words, as in shiznit or bizzotch, has been around for decades, but only gained widespread use with Snoop Dogg.

Wow. Thanks for all the info on “shizz-nit” and the like. :slight_smile:

Well, shit is bad, but fucking is good so if you think about it, if you really hate someone you should say “unfuck you”. (Thank you, Lenny Bruce.)
Obviously, "shit’, like “fuck”, as a word, has taken on a whole other life beyond it’s original meaning.

Or some shit like that.

Well when something or someone isn’t good they “ain’t shit” so it would stand to reason that if something was good it would be “the shit”.

Words like Bi-zitch, Shi-zit, Fi-zuk, have been around for at least 30 years probably longer. and are coming back now.

Youth slang is always about reversal. It’s how the in-crowd recognize each other, by their usage of words to communicate the opposite of the conventionally accepted meaning.

“The Dallas Cowboys are baaaaaad, man!” (A usage you would hear back when the team was, in fact, good. Now, of course, they’re just bad again.)

"That girl is phat!"

Examples abound. The adoption of “fag,” “nigger,” and other nasty epithets as terms of familiarity among the insulted class is probably related to this as well.

And around this area, “pisser” has long been a positive thing. “Wicked pisser” even more so. Never figured that one out.

Which after high school evolves to --> Would you like Frieez with that order?