Is it rude to say shit? I heard someone say it today and I think they used it as a compliment.

I think they said this:

You look shit.

I looked in the dictionary, but I couldn't find anything.

  • 2
    I would be very careful with such vulgar words, especially as a learner. You can get unexpected reactions. And I think there are a lot of other expressions for compliments. For slang uses you should consult Urban Dictionary.
    – rogermue
    Jul 16, 2015 at 4:41
  • sorry, what does slang mean? I am new learning the English! ray William johnsons videos on youtube are helping me to learn,
    – Community
    Jul 16, 2015 at 4:42
  • 1
    See here for more info.
    – user 85795
    Jul 16, 2015 at 5:02
  • 2
    See what George Carlin had to say about it: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_dirty_words
    – Jim
    Jul 16, 2015 at 5:13
  • 3
    Rather obvious troll.
    – Nobilis
    Jul 16, 2015 at 7:40

2 Answers 2


To use it as a compliment is a cultural thing, and is usually said like this, coming after a definite article

That video game is the shit!

Your cooking is the shit!

Winning money is the shit!

It's impolite

To answer, your question, it is a bit rude and forward. It isn't so much offensive as it is vulgar, though. To use it in it's rudimentary form can be a bit unsettling for some.

The dog just shit on the carpet


The dog just defecated on the carpet

Shat is the past tense of to shit, but it's very ironic to hear it conjugated as if it were appropriate in everyday formal speech.

  • 1
    I thought it was shat?????!
    – Community
    Jul 16, 2015 at 4:40
  • Right, but English is quite forgiving wouldn't you say?
    – dockeryZ
    Jul 16, 2015 at 4:42
  • maybe... I am unknown
    – Community
    Jul 16, 2015 at 4:44
  • Just because English is "quite forgiving" not sure that means deliberately teaching it "wrong" makes sense? Jul 16, 2015 at 9:54
  • I believe that the past tense of shit is almost always shit in the parts of the U.S. I've lived in. It conjugates as hit, hit, hit rather than sit, sat, sat. It may be different in the U.K. Jul 16, 2015 at 11:39

Generally, shit is an English curse word used to refer to human/animal waste (poop). Instead of saying you have to poop, you can say you have to [take a] shit. If you say somebody is a 'piece of shit', you are directly insulting them. It's also used as a vulgar exclamation on its own, usually when something unexpected (and problematic) happens suddenly.

However, it can also be used positively or neutrally. Colloquially, when you say something is 'the shit', it is a compliment. 'The shit' in this case means 'very good'.

Shit can also be just used as a replacement for the word 'stuff' or 'things', or as an intensifier. If you say 'this is some good shit', you're really just saying 'this is some good stuff'. As an intensifier, 'look at this shit' simply means 'look at this'.

Use of the word shit is generally considered rude in civilized conversation, and should never be used casually in a professional atmosphere, or among strangers (though this is not always followed).

  • 3
    In India, the word shit is generally not considered that rude, and is used similarly to the word 'muck'. You will overhear mothers tell their children to 'clean that shit off your clothes'.
    – fredley
    Jul 16, 2015 at 12:48

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