A Brief History of “Shit-faced”

Paul Collins investigates the lexicography of the word “shit-faced.”

Instead of, say, a deeply unfortunate drunken pratfall, this shit-faced may come from the old Scottish fondness for referring to children as little shits; Jamieson’s 1818 edition notes just such a “contemptuous designation for a child.” One might imagine this usage arising late at night, while stepping on children’s toys in the dark. But no—this shit, Jamieson writes, is indeed derived from the kittenish chit.

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