The definition of "shitstorm" in New Oxford American Dictionary:

a situation marked by violent controversy.

The definition in Wikipedia:

a vulgar dysphemism for a chaotic and unpleasant situation.

I want to know what exactly is a "shitstorm"? Does it include a wrestling scene, or more of a disputing situation?

What's its difference from "chaos", "turmoil" and "riot"?

1 Answer 1


First of all, shitstorm is probably not a word you ought to be using without a full grasp of where and when it may be appropriate. I certainly would not use it with my children, my parents, my boss, most of my coworkers or most of my friends. I might use it with a few select coworkers or select friends and then only when I thought I needed the "shock value".

Having said that, shitstorm is something that is brought down on someone or that someone is caught in. While a shitstorm is a figurative usage, you need to think about the literal meaning; picture someone who has it in for you making it rain actual pieces of shit down on and around you. This obviously is not something you'd like to have happen to you. And shit doesn't just come from nowhere, it comes from people. So the metaphor continues. Someone must really have it in for you to "shit on you" at every turn. If someone threatens to bring a shitstorm down on you, what they mean is that they are going to make you miserable in any way they can with the goal of making you wish you hadn't done whatever it was you did to make them mad at you to begin with.
You might also get caught in someone else's shitstorm- collateral damage, as it were:

I'm steering clear of Bob for a while. He's really asking for it with Tom. If he keeps it up he's gonna find himself in a shitstorm and I don't want to be anywhere near him when he does.

  • Thank you for your elaberate explanation. Do you mean it is quite the same as "trouble"?
    – dennylv
    Nov 7, 2013 at 6:22
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    There's trouble and then there's TROUBLE. You can be in trouble without being in a shitstorm. For example I might be in trouble because I locked my keys in the car. Someone can also be making trouble for you without bringing a shitstorm down on you. Trouble is much much milder than a shitstorm. You might think about if someone is causing you to run into deep trouble no matter which way you turn then you're in their shitstorm.
    – Jim
    Nov 7, 2013 at 6:31
  • Does it refer to too many bad things happening in a short period of time?
    – dennylv
    Nov 7, 2013 at 6:45
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    If you are referring to a "run of bad luck" then, no. Unless you were of the belief that your bad luck was because the fates had it in for you. Then maybe you might say, "With all the bad luck I've had recently, I feel like I'm in somebody's shitstorm."
    – Jim
    Nov 7, 2013 at 6:49
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    No. A shitstorm is an active expression of malice or ill will, by someone, directed at someone, in which the target cannot get out from under the attack no matter what they do.
    – Jim
    Nov 7, 2013 at 7:03

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