What does Shitbird mean?

Shitbird is a derogatory term, referring to a person who is not only useless and stupid, but is also completely unaware of it.

The expression is used in the military about the recruits who just seem to do nothing right. They do not shine their boots, they cannot make their own bed, their uniform is wrinkled and they cannot even keep their rifle neat.

They endanger the military unit as a whole with their imbecilic behaviour, and everyone hates them.

User James Finn on Quora claimed that the “shitbirds” are the ones that are prone to “blanket parties” – a punishment where other recruits start hitting them while they are asleep.


What's the origin of Shitbird?

A portmanteau of “shit” and “bird”. It refers to those birds that do nothing but walk around, eat and shit.

They don’t sing, they don’t lay eggs, they just poop everywhere, to the annoyance of their surroundings. Useless. Just like the “shitbirds”.

Spread & Usage

How did Shitbird spread?

In Gustav Hasford’s 1979 book “The short-timers”, the term is mentioned on page 10, describing the “shitbird” as the only ones trying to avoid work, the only ones trying to skate.

30 years later, in 2009,  “Just Another Soldier: A Year on the Ground in Iraq”, a true story by Jason Christopher Hartley calls some of soldiers serving “shitbirds”.

External resources

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