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So today I was having a conversation with one of my friends and he used the term "no shit" to mean that I was stating the obvious. Now I am interested to know the origin of such a phrase. Is it particular to Australia?

Edit: I have looked on wikipedia and urban dictionary but both sources only give the meaning/use of the word and not its genealogy.

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closed as general reference by mplungjan, Kristina Lopez, MετάEd, Kris, kiamlaluno Jun 8 '13 at 9:18

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Please cite your research with your question so the community does not have to redo whatever research you've already done. :-) – Kristina Lopez Jun 3 '13 at 17:52
There is a semi-humorous "take" on the S-word here: anvari.org/fun/Jokes_by_Email/Meet_the_Jack_Schitt_Family.html – rhetorician Jun 3 '13 at 21:07
@KristinaLopez I have edited my question. – BenjaLim Jun 3 '13 at 23:51
It is constructed along identical lines as "no lie?/no lie!", "no kidding?/no kidding!", "no joke?/no joke!" – MετάEd Jun 3 '13 at 23:51
Responding to your edit: there isn't a genealogy to speak of: it's just the ordinary use of language. It's just a slightly shorter form of "this is no bullshit?/!". – MετάEd Jun 3 '13 at 23:56

No, "no shit" is also common in the United States. I think this may be interesting to you:


The expression no shit? (a contraction of no bullshit?) is used in response to a statement that is extraordinary or hard to believe. Alternatively the maker of the hard-to-believe statement may add no shit to reinforce the sincerity or truthfulness of their statement, particularly in response to someone expressing disbelief at their statement. No shit is also used sarcastically in response to a statement of the obvious, as in no shit, Sherlock.

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The OED has four different meanings for the phrase no shit, summarised:

A. interjection:

1. a. A response expressing incredulity, 'Is that so?'

1. b. A sarcastic response to a banal statement, 'No shit, Sherelock!'

2. Affirming one's one statement, 'That's the truth'

B. adjective: Genuine, no frills

They say it's originally US slang with a first citation (for A.1.a.) from 1939 in A. C. Bessie's Men in Battle. A story of Americans in Spain:

‘Sure, they're going to withdraw the volunteers from Spain.’ ‘No shit,..and here I was planning to..grow up with the country.’

For the 'stating the obvious' meaning of the question (A.1.b.), the OED's first quotation is from 1966 in N. Hentoff's Call Keeper:

I..explained what the series was all about... ‘It may show people they're not as different from everybody else as they thought.’ ‘No shit! Imagine that.’

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