son of a bitch

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Alternative forms[edit]


Alteration of an earlier phrase represented by Middle English biche-sone (son of a bitch, literally bitch's son), from Old Norse bikkju-sonr (son of a bitch).


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son of a bitch (plural sons of bitches or sons of a bitch)

  1. (derogatory, slang, vulgar) An objectionable, despicable person.
    My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son of a bitch.
    • 1685, John Eachard, The grounds & occasions of the contempt of the clergy and religion enquired into, 9th edition, London, page 252:
      There's that snarling cur, and son of a Bitch Boccaline.
    • 1691, Thomas Shadwell, The Humorists, a Comedy, London, page 22:
      He had the insolence obliquely to give me the name of Son of a Bitch.
    • 1703, Thomas Brown, Letters from the living to the living, relating to the present transactions both Publick and Private, page 105:
      [] Count Davia, like a Son of a Bitch as he is, Chop'd upon mine and the Duke of Mantuu's Equipage, and rubb'd off with our Plate, Jewels, and other Knicknacks of Inestimable Value.
    • 1969, Shel Silverstein (lyrics and music), “A Boy Named Sue”, performed by Johnny Cash:
      But ya ought to thank me, before I die / For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye / Because I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you Sue
  2. (derogatory, slang, vulgar) Any objectionable thing.
    "This son of a bitch won’t move!" Marty exclaimed as he grappled with the supermarket cart.
  3. (US, vulgar, slang) An impressive, daring, or admirable man.
    • 2022, Angelo Indelicato, The Tales of a Templar Knight:
      I quickly checked around and I found Simon, he was hit but landed on a dead horse, the lucky son of a bitch could have been dead but the animal absorbed his fall and now he was on the ground trying to stay alive.


Derived terms[edit]



son of a bitch

  1. (slang, vulgar) Used to express anger, contempt, astonishment, disappointment, dismay, etc.


See also[edit]