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

From: Anthony Dauer (
Date: 14 Apr 2002

Nothing in the Dictionary of American Slang, 3rd Ed., but there is this

  Shitbum n by 1980s =shitheel: Mooney was a shitbum--George V Higgins

  Shit for the birds n phr WWII armed forces Nonsense; lies and exaggerations; =Bullshit: This thing, this war thing between us, it's shit for the bird--Loren Estleman [probably because birds eat the excrement of horses and cattle]

  Shit happens sentence by 1980s Bad things come to pass in this sad world: Another shrug. "Shit happens"--Robert B Parker

Anthony Dauer
Alexandria, Virginia

2nd Annual Country Noir Issue ...
... submit by 4 May 2002
-----Original Message----- From: Rene Ribic Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2002 6:06 PM
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.

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