Posted by R. Berg on March 01, 2002
In Reply to: ...or wind his wristwatch posted by ESC on March 01, 2002
: : : : "He didn't know whether to shit or go blind", as a euphemism for an impossible situation. Does anyone know where this phrase came from? It has been used for at least a couple of decades in Canada.
: : : My husband says it's a common expression meaning "He didn't know what to do" and applies equally when someone faces an insurmountable problem and when someone faces an ordinary problem but is totally incompetent. He probably heard it in the U.S. Navy, which he left in 1981.
: : Variation: He didn't know whether to sh*t or wind his wristwatch.
: Actually it's not really a euphemism. It's a vulgarism.
Right. I hadn't noticed that.
The wristwatch version must go back a long time: windable watches have virtually vanished. (Just call me one of the alliterati.)