Re: RARA-AVIS: Ellroy's birds [was: when a cigar is not a cigar award]

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 14 Apr 2002

> Speaking of our feathered friends, James Ellroy is to be
> commented for his brilliant coinage "shitbird", one of the
> most comical insults I have heard in years.
> Best regards,
> MrT

Did Ellroy actually coin this one? I might be wrong (very likely) but I thought I'd come across the expression before, or elsewhere at least. While we're on the topic I noticed Ellroy used the expression "cap" (as in to kill/shoot someone) in THE COOL SIX THOUSAND. I've only been aware of this expression in more recent times, definitely 1980's or later. Of course, I only become aware of these (US) expressions when Hollywood or some other section of the mass media uses them so it's very possible that the expression was in use before I became aware of it. Does anyone know the history (the etymology seems obvious enough) of this expression?


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