My gf sent me a message "My sister is showing me a sh*t."

Is that a correct way to write a sentence that doesn't talk about fecal matter? It stood out as weird to me, but I don't know the official reasons/rules why.

English is second language for both of us and we don't share the first langauge.

If I had to write the sentence from what she later explained to me she meant, that there's some specific unimportant thing on youtube that her sister is showing her, I'd say "My sister is showing me [some] sh*t.", but never with "a"

I'm sorry if questions about vulgarisms aren't allowed here, I didn't see anything in the rules. I censored it, if it's unnecesarry feel free to edit the stars out


It is definitely weird-sounding. If you say my sister is showing me a sh*t you are definitely referring to a specific pile of fecal matter, and most probably one created ("taken," we would say) by your sister. Not likely to be what really happened. But if you leave out the a or put some in there instead, the word can refer to pretty much anything.

If you would like a detailed explanation of the many different uses of the word, have a read of comedian George Carlin's Sh*t Is a Powerful Word monologue.

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  • Thank you, that's what I thought. But is there a reason for it? Is there other example where you could use a colloquial meaning, but with "a" it would become a literal? – Affaltar Mar 27 at 8:22
  • @Affaltar I could say "he never takes sh*t" and mean that he doesn't put up with bad behavior. "He never takes a sh*t" means that he never defecates. – BobRodes Mar 27 at 8:27
  • While "He never gives a shit!" means he cares about nothing. – Jack O'Flaherty Mar 27 at 8:28
  • @JackO'Flaherty As Carlin says, shit may just be the most powerful word in the English language. – BobRodes Mar 27 at 8:30
  • @Affaltar No, there isn't a reason for it, beyond "it's just how it is." That's the way with all idioms, really. – BobRodes Mar 27 at 8:33

Your feeling about the right form is correct. This sense of "some sh*t" is equivalent to "some stuff" or "some junk", meaning something something not important enough to be described.

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  • Thank you, I assumed it's that. Is there a reason for it or just "that's how it is"? – Affaltar Mar 27 at 8:21
  • Yep, just an idiom. – Jack O'Flaherty Mar 27 at 8:59

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