Shitfaced…. it ain’t what it used to be

“Shitfaced” Used to Mean “Young-Looking”

Dictionary.com succinctly defines “shitfaced” as “very drunk”; we think they might be missing a few superlatives. The idea, we guess, is that when you’re drunk your face resembles poop? Or you somehow get poop on your face? We’re not sure.

But even if you’d never heard the term before, you’d still assume, from the inclusion of the word “shit,” that it can’t mean anything good. Turns out that wasn’t always the case.

Photos.com
We guess if she starts puking right after someone took a cr — never mind. Not thinking about it anymore.

But It Came From …

The word “shitfaced” as slang for “drunk” dates back to the 1960s, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist before that. In fact, it’s present in a Scottish dictionary from 1826 — which bizarrely defines it as “Having a very small face, as a child.” In other words, back then anyone who had boyish looks was considered to be permanently shitfaced.

Photos.com
“Aren’t you a little shitfaced to be shitfaced?”

There’s an explanation for this: Scottish people have always had a predilection toward calling kids “little shits,” and it looks like somewhere along the way they got confused about whether the “little” or the “shits” was the affectionate part. Keep in mind, however, that this particular use of “shit” was derived from “chit,” which was just a “contemptuous designation for a child” and had no relation to excrement.

Sometime between the 19th century and 1948, “shitfaced” somehow came to mean “undesirable person.” It’s not difficult to see how it could have evolved from that to “annoying drunk” by the ’60s, especially considering drunks’ tendency to poop in unusual places. During that decade the word caught on especially among youngsters in colleges, meaning that most people getting shitfaced would have been considered shit-looking in old-timey Scotland as well.

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