son of a bitch

son of a bitch 1707 as a direct phrase, but implied much earlier.
Abide þou þef malicious!
Biche-sone þou drawest amis
þou schalt abigge it ywis!
["Of Arthour & of Merlin," c.1330]
"Probably the most common American vulgarity from about the middle of the eighteenth century to the middle of the twentieth" [Rawson].
Our maid-of-all-work in that department [indecency] is son-of-a-bitch, which seems as pale and ineffectual to a Slav or a Latin as fudge does to us. There is simply no lift in it, no shock, no sis-boom-ah. The dumbest policeman in Palermo thinks of a dozen better ones between breakfast and the noon whistle. [H.L. Mencken, "The American Language," 4th ed., 1936, p.317-8]
Abbreviated form SOB from 1918. Mencken, complaining of the tepidity of the American vocabulary of profanity, writes that the toned-down form son-of-a-gun "is so lacking in punch that the Italians among us have borrowed it as a satirical name for an American: la sanemagogna is what they call him, and by it they indicate their contempt for his backwardness in the art that is one of their great glories."
It was in 1934 also that the New York Daily News, with commendable frankness, in reporting a hearing in Washington at which Senator Huey P. Long featured, forsook the old-time dashes and abbreviations and printed the complete epithet "son of a bitch." [Stanley Walker, "City Editor," 1934]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • son of a bitch — or[sunuvabitch] also S.O.B. {n. phr.}, {vulgar}, {avoidable} (but becoming more and more acceptable, especially if said with a positive or loving intonation). Fellow, character, guy, individual. Negatively: * /Get out of here you filthy,… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • son of a bitch — or[sunuvabitch] also S.O.B. {n. phr.}, {vulgar}, {avoidable} (but becoming more and more acceptable, especially if said with a positive or loving intonation). Fellow, character, guy, individual. Negatively: * /Get out of here you filthy,… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • son of a bitch — n plural sons of bitches spoken not polite especially AmE 1.) an offensive expression for a man that you are very angry with ▪ He s a filthy lying son of a bitch. 2.) son of a bitch! used when you are annoyed or surprised ▪ Son of a bitch! You… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • son of a bitch — son of a bitch1 (plural ,sons of bitches) noun count OFFENSIVE an insulting word for someone you are angry with be a son of a bitch IMPOLITE if something is a son of a bitch, it is very difficult to do son of a bitch ,son of a bitch 2… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • son\ of\ a\ bitch — • son of a bitch • sunuvabitch also S.O.B. n. phr. vulgar avoidable (but becoming more and more acceptable, especially if said with a positive or loving intonation). Fellow, character, guy, individual. Negatively: Get out of here you filthy,… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • son of a bitch — • son of a gun • son of a bitch a person, used as an exclamation I wish that that son of a bitch would stop using my camera without asking me …   Idioms and examples

  • son of a bitch — ► son of a bitch (pl.) sons of bitches informal used as a general term of abuse. Main Entry: ↑son …   English terms dictionary

  • son of a bitch — n. Slang 1. a person or thing regarded with anger, contempt, etc. 2. an interjection used to express surprise, annoyance, etc.: A somewhat vulgar term: Also written sonofabitch [sun′əv ə bich΄; ] for interj., usually [ sun΄əv ə bich′] n., interj …   English World dictionary

  • Son of a bitch — Fils de pute Fils de pute et ses équivalents fils de putain, enfant de putain, « Ta mère la pute ! » ou encore « Ta salope de mère » sont des expressions du vocabulaire injurieux souvent utilisées comme insultes. Elles… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • son of a bitch — 1. n. a despicable person, usually a male. (Rude and derogatory. Abbreviated SOB.) □ Tell that son of a itch to get out of here, but fast. □ Look, you son of a bitch. I’m going to paste you one. 2. n. old buddy. (Used between close male… …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions


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