I Got Shit To Do

Few expressions are capable of meaning one thing as well as its opposite. Such is the case with “I got shit to do”. The difference in meaning can be conveyed through

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emphasis. Saying “I got shit to do” means

I have many things to do

Whereas “I got shit to do”, spoken with an upward inflection on “do” means

I don’t have anything to do at all

My theory is that the latter meaning, which is far far more colloquial, is actually an abbreviated version of “I ain’t got shit to do”.

This is an idiomatic paradox. Using it is tantamount to language anarchy. That kind of chaos and destruction gives me a big boner.

Comments 2

  1. a wrote:

    Wait, did you accidentally mix these up? “I got SHIT to do” seems to mean something like, “Am I busy? Please, I got jack shit to do.” And “I got shit to DO” is definitely “I gotta get this shit DONE.” I suppose “I got SHIT to do” could occasionally be something like, “I got some serious shit to take care of,” but yeah, the reverse interpretation seems to make more sense to me.

    Posted 25 Oct 2010 at 3:32 am
  2. af wrote:

    the phrase is relative to your situation.

    Posted 31 Aug 2013 at 4:35 pm

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