More at the link.shit-faced, adj. orig. U.S. (a) contemptible; ugly.... (b) intoxicated with alcohol or drugs; spec. extremely drunk. 1961 A. GINSBERG, Empty Mirror 19 "Why, you *shit-faced fool!"It's a satisfying usage, but 1961 seems a bit late to me. And sure enough, delving into the wonderful 1948 linguistic study "North Texas Agricultural College Slang" reveals this earlier use: "S.F.C., n., An undesirable person. From shit-faced Charley."..
Shit history is full false cognates like shittle—which proves to be related to shuttle, in the sense of inconstancy. That's why a 1448 letter-writer could worry that "I am aferd that Jon of Sparham is so schyttyl wyttyd." The same root later meant you could play badminton with a shittlecock. (This 1797 report of a Chinese "game of shittlecock... [played] with the sole of the foot" appears to be an early description of hacky-sack.) Even more shit gets slung around by chit, from the same root as kit or kitten—while another derivation from to shut accounts for a c. 1415 sermon's curious exhortation to "shitt þe gates of heven."..
But in particular, I draw your attention to this entry:
SHIT-FACED, adj. Having a very small face, as a child, Clydes[dale].; q. chit-faced?Instead of, say, a deeply unfortunate drunken pratfall, this shit-faced may come from the old Scottish fondness for referring to children as little shits; Jamieson's 1818 edition notes just such a "contemptuous designation for a child."
24 April 2011
Etymology of the term "shit-faced"
A contributor at Slate offers the following commentary on the OED entry:
Labels: English language