one who is cowardly and easily led (see chickenshit conformist). lacking brains, guts, or the strength of one's convictions. those who shy away from conflict for no reason, even when dealing with issues that are vitally important to them. more a state of being than a personality trait; someone may be a chickenshit in some situations, but quite brave in others. an inclination to ignore problems rather than dealing with them. a fear of 'rocking the boat.'

Chickenshit, in addition to being a term used to describe a coward, is a military term used to describe drilling and methods that were deemed to be unnecessary by the soldiers. Fines for such minor things as not shaving, wearing unpolished boots, or not properly making one’s bed all fell under the category of chickenshit. Though most officers would let such indiscretions slide, others tend to enforce even the slightest of offenses.

General George S. Patton was said to be notorious for chickenshit drilling, earning him the nickname “Gorgeous Georgie,” since he expected his troops to look the best in the entire US Army. Though many of the soldiers resented it, Patton defended his actions by saying that if soldiers couldn’t carry out the smallest orders to the letter, then they couldn’t be expected to carry out the more necessary ones.

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