son-of-a-bitch

son of a bitch

noun, plural sons of bitches. Slang: Vulgar.
1.
a contemptible or thoroughly disagreeable person; scoundrel.
2.
a disagreeable matter; a chore.
3.
(used as an exclamation of impatience, irritation, astonishment, etc.)
Also, son-of-a-bitch.


Origin:
1705–15

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
son of a bitch
 
n , pl sons of bitches
1.  a worthless or contemptible person: used as an insult
2.  a humorous or affectionate term for a person, esp a man: a lucky son of a bitch

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

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."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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