What is a ‘Shit-Gibbon?’ Politicians’s Tweet Insulting Trump Raises Question

A Pennsylvania state senator’s angry tweet uses a slang term the Internet hasn’t yet completely defined

Last Updated: February 10, 2017 @ 7:35 AM

(Warning: This story contains a bad word, obviously.)

What is a “shit-gibbon” and where did the term come from? That’s the obvious question after Pennsylvania State Sen. Daylin Leach took to Twitter to sling the term at Donald Trump.

Funny as the term might be, its actual meaning isn’t super clear. “Gibbon” refers to a family of primates in the group of Lesser Apes, which are smaller than their Great Ape cousins. Great Apes include gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and humans. Gibbons are smaller, but still considered apes, a family distinct from monkeys.

Applying the first word of the term, then, suggests an ape made of feces, or maybe an ape with a particular predilection to feces.

Leach’s use of the term has the Internet at a bit of a loss. There are three entries in the Internet slang database Urban Dictionary for “shit-gibbon,” all very new. The first defines “shit-gibbon” as: “A toad who thinks he is a prince, devoid of any self awareness as to what an asshole he looks like to everyone around him. Possibly a narcissist/racist/spoiled rich kid all grown up.” The second: “A person who is a complete piece of shit.” The third calls it a “general insult.” All three examples for usage of the term reference Donald Trump.

The Urban Dictionary entries seem to exist thanks to a tweet from back in January. It’s the most recent and most visible use of the term seems to be this tweet, referring to Trump’s tweet about Scotland following the UK’s vote to exit the European Union.

Philly.com dove into the origins of the phrase and interviewed the tweeter, who identified himself as Darren because of death threats he said he’d been receiving from the tweet. Darren said he’d come up with the term on his own, but didn’t think he’d actually been the first. Philly.com’s research found references back in the early 2000s, “in reference to the bootlegging of videos and audio recordings of concerts in London.”

Thus, it seems there is no “proper” or correct use of “shit-gibbon,” except as an insult. The Internet is free to define the term as it will.