There is a whole-lotta scuttlebutt going on about the word “shithole” in the news these days.
The U.S. President used the term “shithole” to refer to his less than favorite places to visit, well sort of.
The whole shitstorm got me thinking about language and how one word used in so many different contexts evokes such different emotional responses.
I first came across the term “shithole” as a sailor in the U.S. Navy. I strongly believe its origin is a Navy term. It must have birthed from the word “porthole.”
You can’t see a lot of shit through a porthole, and perhaps it’s a shitty view, so there you have it – “shithole.” That’s my hypothesis.
So the sailor pulls into port, gets a first view of the place through the porthole, and it looks good or shitty. If it’s shitty looking through the porthole, it’s a shithole.
Okay, now that we have the “shithole” word history in place, let’s get this shit on the road. I have a shitload of stuff to share here.
In Navy boot camp I was introduced to eating shit-on-a-shingle for breakfast. We were all told to get our shit together. And when we were serious about something, “I shit you not.”
When we were cutting up we called it “shits and giggles.” The toilet was called the “shitter.” A fuck up recruit was a “shit bird.” Goodness, a whole ton of shit language is rushing back into my memory now from my Navy days, thanks Mr. President.
We used the word “shit” all the time in so many different ways.
There was of course “shithead,” a kind of personal insult that can also include groups of people. I like “dipshit,” myself. I often use it to refer to drivers, like those who can reach out and lick my license plate because they follow too closely behind me.
If we sailors were subjected to an officer with a pompous attitude, we said they thought “their shit don’t stink.” And if someone we worked with was dumb, or made too many stupid mistakes, they had “shit for brains.”
If we didn’t like someone or something, we just didn’t want to take their/his/her/this shit any longer. The worst people or things were simply a “piece of shit.”
Of course, bullshit was prominent in the Navy. So much of what passes for normalcy in all military branches is just plain bullshit. And all of the government bullshit together was a “load of shit.” Every pay day, the eagle would shit.
When we laughed, it was “some funny shit.” When we were astounded well, “no shit.” And anything bad was described with “shit” before it. For example we had shitty duty, shit detail, shit assignments, shitty orders, shitty uniforms, and shitty duty stations.
A shitty duty station, like Diego Garcia for example, is kind of like moving to a shithole. But it is a matter of personal opinion. I never did meet anyone that wanted to go to Diego Garcia. Diego Garcia was likely the primary shithole that all other lesser shitholes are compared.
I hope my little shitty-ditty here makes you laugh. If you don’t enjoy it, I don’t give a shit.
And don’t bother to complain about your disappointment, because it’s my blog and I’m not going to listen to your shit.
If you post shit on my wall, I’ll just remove that shit.
I’m gonna have to cut the shit now and get back to work. Good night.
The Drill Sargent
Now drop and give me twenty!
Copyright © 12JAN18 by Steven A. Schwab