The word horseshit or horse shit can mean or be used to describe:
- The feces of the horse. (In this meaning more often spelled as two words)
- Nonsense, usually inaccurate statements spoken out of ignorance rather than deception. (In this meaning more often spelled as one word) (slang): see bullshit.
- Appearance, as in: You look like horseshit. In Kodak Moment Ned Gardner uses "You like horseshit," referring to ones appearance. One would not say you look like bullshit. This is the difference in colloquial use.
- Expressing how one feels: I feel like horseshit. Again one would not say I feel like bullshit. However one could say I feel like crap.
- Taste, as in: This beer tastes like horseshit. One could say this beer tastes like crap but would not say this beer tastes like bullshit.
- Description, horseshit can be used as an adjective to describe a noun. That is horseshit beer.
This word is generally used in a derogatory manner and can be used as a noun or adjective. It is often used to dismiss viewpoints one considers to be absurd. Ie. Two guys discussing relativism and Bubba over hears them and says, "That sounds like a bunch of horseshit."
Useage in Media
Dustin Kurtz used the term several times in his Melville House article How to Lay Off 600 Booksellers: With a Delicious Dollop of Horseshit about the college textbook industry. He states, "Horseshit is not a lie, it is a gift; in place of a lie, the acknowledgement that you don’t even owe your victims an explanation that approaches the truth."
Horsefeathers is another variation U.S. cartoonist Billy De Beck invented in 1928; as another variation of nonsense. Rocking Horseshit is another variation with the irony that it is impossible for an inanimate object to produce feces. It is sometimes expressed as "As rare as rocking horseshit."
In everyday language
Outside of the academic world, among natural speakers of North American English, as an interjection or adjective, horseshit conveys general displeasure, an objection to, or points to unfairness within, some state of affairs. It can be also used to refer to how something appears. Example: That looks like horseshit. One would not say that looks like bullshit. This is much different than Bullshit. Ie. Sailor your uniform looks like horseshit, square yourself away. Another Example: Young lady your room looks like horseshit, go clean up your mess.
- Road apple
- Horse pie
- Rocking Horseshit
- Barrett, Robert G. The Boys From Binjiwunyawunya (Pan Macmillan Australia Pty, Limited, 1987) ISBN 0330271652
- Gardner, Ned Kodak Moment Pg. 213 "You look like horseshit," (iUniverse Books, 2005) ISBN 0-595-36467-5
- Kurtz, Dustin How to Lay Off 600 Booksellers: with a Delicious Dollop of Horseshit (Melville House 14 NOVEMBER 2013) Retrieved March 4, 2014
- Timberg, Robert John McCain: An American Odyssey Pg. 17 (Touchstone Books, 1999) ISBN 0-684-86794-X