Shit Creek is a well known location in County Clare, Ireland, a place which is a famous Atlantic surfing location. It is also an overused expression to display angst in uncertain situations. Or certain situations. Frankly, its one of the best damn sayings ever - "Up Shit Creek", sometimes "Up Shit Creek without a Paddle".
Lahinch, A Brief History
Lahinch is the anglicised form of Leath Inse and not related to Leacht Uí Chonchubhair. Recorded by the Four Masters as Leith Innse, which is a variant of the Irish word for a peninsula leithinis ("half island"), the name describes the village's location between the Inagh river and the sea. The ancient name for Lahinch, Leacht Uí Chonchubhair, which is still commonly used in Irish instead of the shortened official name An Leacht, refers to the memorial cairn (Leacht) marking the burial place of one of the O’Connor chieftains (Not an American Football Team), who were the ruling clan of the district of Corco Modhruadh Iartharach. Nowadays; The town name is mostly spelt "Lahinch", but a selection of road signs in the area use the spelling "Lehinch". This is because Clare County Council Road Signs Dept can't decide.
Shit creek is located at Lahinch. I wouldn't advise going there though, unless you seriously give a shit. Under the river and through a bride to shit creek we go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Related to Dawson's Creek ?
As a Surfing Location
Its meant to be quite good. Wind offshore is normally from East, meaning that the waves get quite big, apparently. The Ideal waves are from the West. But do you actually care? I dont think you do, because apparently when there are good waves, there are still no surfers. So why not just read on.
As an expression
"Up Shit Creek"
Up Shit Creek means you are in a very unfortunate situation. Not only are you navigating a fast flowing, unforgiving waterway, the name of this god-forsaken stream is Shit Creek. How can you take this seriously?! In the grand Australian tradition of unimaginative naming conventions (see Shark Bay or The Great Sandy Desert), Shit Creek is a little bit too eponymous to be anything other than a nightmare location.
"Without a Paddle"
Without a paddle is almost self evident. You have nothing with which to struggle hopelessly but bravely against the current. Being up Shit Creek, and the only way to attempt a change of direction being with some part of your body, you're not going to escape unscathed should you attempt to modify the speed and direction of your flight to a hell full of shit. And if you've ever tried to actually use a paddle, you'll know it isn't the easiest implement of propulsion ever engineered. You don't have, in effect, even a bad plan for deliverance.
In Popular Culture
"Well then I guess we're really up Shit Creek"
- -John Belushi, from the Blues Brothers