son of a bitch

or son-of-a-bitch

Slang: Vulgar.

noun, plural sons of bitches.

a contemptible or thoroughly disagreeable person; scoundrel.
a disagreeable matter; a chore.

interjection

(used as an exclamation of impatience, irritation, astonishment, etc.)

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Origin of son of a bitch

First recorded in 1705–15

Words nearby son of a bitch

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for son of a bitch

son of a bitch

noun plural sons of bitches slang, mainly US and Canadian

a worthless or contemptible person: used as an insult
a humorous or affectionate term for a person, esp a mana lucky son of a bitch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with son of a bitch

son of a bitch

Also, SOB; son of a gun. A mean, disagreeable individual, as in He was regarded as the worst son of a bitch in the industry, or He ran out on her? What an SOB, or He's a real son of a gun when it comes to owing you money. The first of these terms, calling a man the son of a female dog, dates from the early 1300s and is considered vulgar enough to have given rise to the two variants, both euphemisms. The first variant, an abbreviation, dates from World War I. The second, first recorded in 1708, gave rise to the theory that it originally applied to baby boys born at sea (in the days when women accompanied their husbands on long voyages). The explanation seems unlikely, especially since presumably some of the babies were girls. It also once meant the illegitimate son of a soldier (or “gun”). More probably, however, son of a gun evolved simply as a euphemism for the first term and appealed because of its rhyme. Both it and son of a bitch are also put as interjections expressing surprise, amazement, disgust, or disappointment, as in Son of a bitch! I lost my ticket, or I'll be a son of a gun! That must be the governor.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.