How to talk about shitgibbons with your high school English class

The introduction of "shitgibbon" into America's political discourse is a teachable moment for English classes studying the evolution of language.

Sh*tgibbon also gives us a creative outlet and a path forward. If you're not able to vote, or participate in a public demonstration, or call your elected officials, or tie up a Trump property phone line, or take any other immediate civic action, you can still find ways to express yourself in words using what you learn from sh*tgibbon. Taylor Jones, a Ph.D. candidate in Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, builds on Ben Zimmer's concluding note that, "Metrically speaking, these words are compounds consisting of one element with a single stressed syllable and a second disyllabic element with a trochaic pattern, i.e., stressed-unstressed. As a metrical foot in poetry, the whole stressed-stressed-unstressed pattern is known as antibacchius." Jones goes on to provide a recipe for making a sh*tgibbon in two easy steps.

Do it. Post a sh*tgibbon poem, story, song, nonfiction essay or [?] to your course blog and explain your creative process. And then do more. Your reading audience and your republic await.

sh*tgibbon: a timely study in etymology and usage [Dr. Preston's English Language & Composition 2016-2017]

(Images: Agilegibbon, CC-BY-SA; Fxemoji u1F4A9, Firefox OS, CC-BY;

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  1. Jorpho says:

    And then gym class comes along, and the kids start saying "Timmy wouldn't pass the ball, he's such a sh*tgibbon", and the terminology gets normalized.

    And then several decades later, someone says, "Timmy cut in front of me in the rations line, he's such a Trump."

  2. Shitgibbon doesn't sound antibacchius to me. It's stressed-unstressed-unstressed. SHITgibbon, not SHITGIBbon.

    That said, I take issue with the insult to gibbons, which are astounding and beautiful creatures. Watch one climb up fifty feet of tree in under two seconds and tell me Rot isn't an example of devolution.

    yeah yeah I know devolution is not a real thing, settle down nerd

  3. Been reading Trump threads and the Gaming thread today. Can't believe I didn't think of this before.
    It took five mins in MS Paint (and it shows, I know). I ain't no 'shooper, if someone wants to do a better job, fire at will :slight_smile:
    A mango-coloured face poking out from the folds would complete it, I think.

    NOTE: The Crowleyan "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted" is the verbatim AC slogan, although it wasn't on this particular image. Strange how it fits 45 so well.

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