shirt-sleeves (n.) Look up shirt-sleeves at
1560s, from shirt (n.) + sleeve (n.). Usually with the notion of "without a coat."
shirt-waist (n.) Look up shirt-waist at
1879, from shirt (n.) + waist (n.).
shirtless (adj.) Look up shirtless at
c. 1600, from shirt + -less.
shirty (adj.) Look up shirty at
"ill-tempered," 1846, slang, probably from shirt (n.) + -y (2), on notion of being disheveled in anger.
shish kebab (n.) Look up shish kebab at
1914, from Armenian shish kabab, from Turkish siskebap, from sis "skewer" + kebap "roast meat."
shit (n.) Look up shit at
Old English scitte "purging, diarrhea," from source of shit (v.). Sense of "excrement" dates from 1580s (Old English had scytel, Middle English shitel for "dung, excrement;" the usual 14c. noun seems to have been turd). Use for "obnoxious person" is since at least 1508; meaning "misfortune, trouble" is attested from 1937. Shit-faced "drunk" is 1960s student slang; shit list is from 1942. Up shit creek "in trouble" is from 1937 (compare salt river). To not give a shit "not care" is from 1922. Pessimistic expression Same shit different day attested by 1989. Shitticism is Robert Frost's word for scatological writing.
The expression [the shit hits the fan] is related to, and may well derive from, an old joke. A man in a crowded bar needed to defecate but couldn't find a bathroom, so he went upstairs and used a hole in the floor. Returning, he found everyone had gone except the bartender, who was cowering behind the bar. When the man asked what had happened, the bartender replied, 'Where were you when the shit hit the fan?' [Hugh Rawson, "Wicked Words," 1989]
shit (v.) Look up shit at
Old English scitan, from Proto-Germanic *skit- (source also of North Frisian skitj, Dutch schijten, German scheissen), from PIE *skei- "to cut, split, divide, separate" (see schizo-). The notion is of "separation" from the body (compare Latin excrementum, from excernere "to separate," Old English scearn "dung, muck," from scieran "to cut, shear;" see sharn). It is thus a cousin to science and conscience.

"Shit" is not an acronym. The notion that it is a recent word might be partly because it was taboo from c. 1600 and rarely appeared in print (neither Shakespeare nor the KJV has it), and even in "vulgar" publications of the late 18c. it is disguised by dashes. It drew the wrath of censors as late as 1922 ("Ulysses" and "The Enormous Room"), scandalized magazine subscribers in 1957 (a Hemingway story in "Atlantic Monthly") and was omitted from some dictionaries as recently as 1970 ("Webster's New World").

Extensive slang usage; meaning "to lie, to tease" is from 1934; that of "to disrespect" is from 1903. Shite, now a jocular or slightly euphemistic and chiefly British variant of the noun, formerly a dialectal variant, reflects the vowel in the Old English verb (compare German scheissen); the modern verb has been influenced by the noun. Shat is a humorous past tense form, not etymological, first recorded 18c. To shit bricks "be very frightened" attested by 1961. The connection between fear and involuntary defecation has generated expressions in English since 14c. (the image also is in Latin), and probably also is behind scared shitless (1936).
Alle þe filþ of his magh ['maw'] salle breste out atte his fondament for drede. ["Cursor Mundi," early 14c.]
shite (n.) Look up shite at
colloquial modern alternative spelling of shit (n.), preserving the original vowel of the Old English verb.
shithead (n.) Look up shithead at
by 1961, from shit (n.) + head (n.).
shitten (adj.) Look up shitten at
late 14c., past participle adjective from shit (v.). From 1540s in transferred sense of "very unpleasant."
shitty (adj.) Look up shitty at
1924, from shit (n.) + -y (2). Earlier was shitten.
shiv (n.) Look up shiv at
"a razor," 1915, variant of chive, thieves' cant word for "knife" (1670s), of unknown origin.
shiva (n.) Look up shiva at
see shivah or siva.
shivah (n.) Look up shivah at
seven days of mourning in Jewish religious custom, 1892, from Hebrew shibhah "seven," short for shibh'ath yeme ha'ebhel "the seven days of mourning."
shivaree (n.) Look up shivaree at
1843, earlier sherrie-varrie (1805), alteration of charivari. Century Dictionary describes it as "vulgar, southern U.S.;" OED describes it as "U.S. and Cornwall."
shive (n.) Look up shive at
early 13c., "slice of bread; thin piece cut off," perhaps from an unrecorded Old English *scifa, cognate with Old Saxon sciva, Middle Dutch schive, Dutch schijf, Old High German sciba, German Scheibe; see skive (v.1). From 1869 as "thin, flat cork for a bottle."
shiver (v.2) Look up shiver at
"to break in or into many small pieces," c. 1200, from the source of shiver (n.). Chiefly in phrase shiver me timbers (1835), "a mock oath attributed in comic fiction to sailors" [OED]. My timbers! as a nautical oath (probably euphemistic) is attested from 1789 (see timber (n.)). Related: Shivered; shivering.
shiver (v.1) Look up shiver at
"shake," c. 1400, alteration of chiveren (c. 1200), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old English ceafl "jaw," on notion of chattering teeth. Spelling change of ch- to sh- is probably from influence of shake. Related: Shivered; shivering.
shiver (n.1) Look up shiver at
"small piece, splinter, fragment, chip," c. 1200, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English word, related to Middle Low German schever schiver "splinter," Old High German scivero, from Proto-Germanic *skif- "split" (source also of Old High German skivaro "splinter," German Schiefer "splinter, slate"), from PIE *skei- "to cut, split" (see schizo-). Commonly in phrases to break to shivers "break into bits" (mid-15c.). Also, shiver is still dialectal for "a splinter" in Norfolk and Lincolnshire.
shiver (n.2) Look up shiver at
"a tremulous, quivering motion," 1727, from shiver (v.1). The shivers in reference to fever chills is from 1861.
shivery (adj.) Look up shivery at
"characterized by shaking," 1747, from shiver (v.1) + -y (2).
shmoo (n.) Look up shmoo at
(plural shmoon), comic strip creature, 1948; see schmuck. It was a U.S. fad for a couple of years after its debut.
shoal (n.1) Look up shoal at
"place of shallow water," c. 1300, from Old English schealde (adj.), from sceald "shallow," from Proto-Germanic *skala- (source also of Swedish skäll "thin;" Low German schol, Frisian skol "not deep"), of uncertain origin. The terminal -d was dropped 16c.
shoal (n.2) Look up shoal at
"large number" (especially of fish), 1570s, apparently identical with Old English scolu "band, troop, crowd of fish" (see school (n.2)); but perhaps rather a 16c. adoption of cognate Middle Dutch schole.
shoal (v.) Look up shoal at
"assemble in a multitude," c. 1600, from shoal (n.2). Related: Shoaled; shoaling.
shoat (n.) Look up shoat at
also shote, "a young weaned pig," early 15c., perhaps from a Low German word (compare West Flemish schote "pig under 1 year old"), of unknown origin.
shock (v.1) Look up shock at
"to come into violent contact, strike against suddenly and violently," 1570s, now archaic or obsolete, from shock (n.1). Meaning "to give (something) an electric shock" is from 1746; sense of "to offend, displease" is first recorded 1690s.
shock (n.1) Look up shock at
1560s, "violent encounter of armed forces or a pair of warriors," a military term, from Middle French choc "violent attack," from Old French choquer "strike against," probably from Frankish, from a Proto-Germanic imitative base (compare Middle Dutch schokken "to push, jolt," Old High German scoc "jolt, swing").

Meaning "a sudden blow" is from 1610s; meaning "a sudden and disturbing impression on the mind" is from 1705. Sense of "feeling of being (mentally) shocked" is from 1876. Medical sense is attested from 1804 (it also once meant "seizure, stroke," 1794). Shock-absorber is attested from 1906 (short form shocks attested by 1961); shock wave is from 1907. Shock troops (1917) translates German stoßtruppen and preserves the word's original military sense. Shock therapy is from 1917; shock treatment from 1938.
shock (n.2) Look up shock at
"bundle of grain," early 14c., from Middle Low German schok "shock of corn," originally "group of sixty," from Proto-Germanic *skukka- (source also of Old Saxon skok, Dutch schok "sixty pieces; shock of corn;" German schock "sixty," Hocke "heap of sheaves"). In 16c.-17c. English the word sometimes meant "60-piece lot," from trade with the Dutch.
shock (n.3) Look up shock at
"thick mass of hair," 1819, from earlier shock (adj.) "having thick hair" (1680s), and a noun sense of "lap dog having long, shaggy hair" (1630s), from shough (1590s), the name for this type of dog, which was said to have been brought originally from Iceland; the word is perhaps from the source of shock (n.2), or from an Old Norse variant of shag (n.). Shock-headed Peter was used in 19c. translations for German Struwwelpeter.
shock (v.2) Look up shock at
"arrange (grain) in a shock," mid-15c., from shock (n.2). Related: Shocked; shocking.
shocked (adj.) Look up shocked at
1640s, "shaken violently;" 1840, "scandalized," past participle adjective from shock (v.1).
shocker (n.) Look up shocker at
"something that shocks or excites," 1824, agent noun from shock (v.).
shocking (adj.) Look up shocking at
1690s, "offensive," present participle adjective from shock (v.1). From 1704 as "causing a jolt of indignation, horror, etc.;" from 1798 as "so bad as to be shocking." Related: Shockingly. Shocking pink introduced February 1937 by Italian-born fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
shod (adj.) Look up shod at
"wearing shoes," late 14c., from Middle English past participle of shoe (v.), surviving chiefly in compounds, such as roughshod, slipshod, etc.
shoddy (adj.) Look up shoddy at
1862, "having a delusive appearance of high quality," a Northern word from the American Civil War in reference to the quality of government supplies for the armies, from earlier noun meaning "rag-wool, wool made of woolen waste and old rags" (1832), perhaps a Yorkshire provincial word, of uncertain origin.

Originally used for padding, English manufacturers began making coarse wearing clothes from it, and when new it looked like broad-cloth but the gloss quickly wore off, giving the stuff a bad reputation as a cheat. The 1860 U.S. census of manufactures notes import of more than 6 million pounds of it, which was "much used in the manufacture of army and navy cloths and blankets in the United States" according to an 1865 government report.
The Days of Shoddy, as the reader will readily anticipate, are the opening months of the present war, at which time the opprobrious name first came into general use as a designation for swindling and humbug of every character; and nothing more need be said to indicate the scope of this novel. [Henry Morford, "The Days of Shoddy: A Novel of the Great Rebellion in 1861," Philadelphia, 1863]
Related: Shoddily; shoddiness.
shoe (v.) Look up shoe at
Old English scogan "to shoe," from the root of shoe (n.). In reference to horses from c. 1200. Related: Shoed; shoeing.
shoe (n.) Look up shoe at
Old English scoh "shoe," from Proto-Germanic *skokhaz (source also of Old Norse skor, Danish and Swedish sko, Old Frisian skoch, Old Saxon skoh, Middle Dutch scoe, Dutch schoen, Old High German scuoh, German Schuh, Gothic skoh). No known cognates outside Germanic, unless it somehow is connected with PIE root *skeu- "cover" (source also of second element in Latin ob-scurus).

Old plural form shoon lasted until 16c. Meaning "metal plate to protect a horse's hoof" is attested from late 14c. Distinction between shoe and boot (n.) is attested from c. 1400. To stand in someone's shoes "see things from his or her point of view" is attested from 1767. Old shoe as a type of something worthless is attested from late 14c.

Shoes tied to the fender of a newlywed couple's car preserves the old custom (mentioned from 1540s) of throwing an old shoe at or after someone to wish them luck. Perhaps the association is with dirtiness, on the "muck is luck" theory.
shoe-shine (adj.) Look up shoe-shine at
1911, from shoe (n.) + shine (n.). One who shines shoes for money was a shoeblacker (1755).
shoe-string (n.) Look up shoe-string at
1610s, from shoe (n.) + string (n.). As figurative for "a small amount" it is recorded from 1882; as a type of necktie, from 1903; as a style of cooked potatoes from 1906.
shoebox (n.) Look up shoebox at
1860, from shoe (n.) + box (n.). In reference to a type of building from 1968.
shoehorn (n.) Look up shoehorn at
1580s, from shoe (n.) + horn (n.); earlier shoeing-horn (mid-15c.).
shoehorn (v.) Look up shoehorn at
in the figurative sense of "to put or thrust (something somewhere) by means of a 'tool,' " 1859, from shoehorn (n.). Earlier it meant "to cuckold" (mid-17c.), with a play on horn (n.). Related: Shoehorned.
shoelace (n.) Look up shoelace at
also shoe-lace, 1640s, from shoe (n.) + lace (n.).
shoeless (adj.) Look up shoeless at
1620s, from shoe (n.) + -less. Related: Shoelessly; shoelessness.
shoemaker (n.) Look up shoemaker at
late 14c. (mid-14c. as a surname), from shoe (n.) + maker.
shofar (n.) Look up shofar at
ram's horn blown on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, 1833, from Hebrew shophar "ram's horn," related to Arabic sawafiru "ram's horns," Akkadian shapparu "wild goat."
shogun (n.) Look up shogun at
1610s, "hereditary commander of a Japanese army," from Japanese (sei-i-tai) shogun "(barbarian-subduing) chief" (late 12c.), sound-substitution for Chinese chiang chiin, literally "lead army."
shogunate (n.) Look up shogunate at
1871, a hybrid, from Japanese shogun + Latinate suffix -ate (1).
shoo (v.) Look up shoo at
1620s, "to drive away by calling 'shoo,' " from the exclamation (late 15c.), perhaps instinctive, compare German schu, Italian scioia. Related: Shooed; shooing.