Howard Oakley ("Birth of a new English phrase", 1/23/2015) was struck by the phrase "all proper and shit", in the context of a tweet by Christopher Phin noting that "[choice of printing mode] makes my writing seem all proper and shit". So Howard investigated the history of that four-word sequence by means of various web search tools.
I strongly support the combination of linguistic curiosity and empirical methods, but in this case, I'm puzzled by the fact that Howard saw the phrase as novel. As far as I can see, "all proper and shit" is a syntactically, semantically, and pragmatically compositional combination of two constructions that have existed in English for hundreds of years.
Among the many ways to say et cetera or et similia, it's common to find
and things|stuff|crap|shit|junk like that
and such|stuff|whatnot|all|so on
In particular, the two-word phrase and stuff has been a common deprecatory continuation for several hundred years:
Historical collections of private passages of state, weighty matters in law, remarkable proceedings in five parliaments: Beginning the sixteenth year of King James, anno 1618, and ending the fifth year of King Charles, anno 1629:
Furthermore it is also humbly informed by the said Marshal, That upon the twenty second of March last, by a like Warrant from the Lord Conway, he did search the Bishop's Prison, called the new Prison in Maiden-lane in London, where he found six several Priests prisoners in several Chambers, and Altar, with all Furniture thereto belonging, with Church-Books and Stuff, which were as much as three Porters could carry away, and it is now in the hands of the Lord Conway.
Jonathan Swift, "The Grand Question Debated: A Barrack or A Malthouse" (The Gentleman's Magazine and Monthly Intelligencer, Feb. 1732):
A scholard, when just for the college broke loose,
Can hardly tell how to cry bo to a goose,
Your Novids, and Bludurks, and Omers, and stuff,
By G_d, they don't signify this pinch of snuff.
To give a young gentleman right education,
The army's the the very best school in the nation.
John Neal, Randolph (1823):
Besides, after admitting the merit of the writer, the dramatick distinctness of his characters; for, after all, that is his chief, if not his only merit, for there is nothing remarkable in his style; — there are so many drawbacks, so much trash — so many chapters of tiresome pedantry — horology — law — heraldry — history — and stuff, relative to individuals, that can be interesting only to those who know the parties, that I should not fear to utter the prediction, solely on that ground.
Since stuff has been used at least since the 16th century to mean (what the OED glosses as) "Matter of an unspecified kind"; and similarly used since the 17th century to mean (what the OED glosses as) "What is worthless; rubbish", the phrase and stuff, glossed by the OED as "and such-like useless or uninteresting matters", was a natural development.
As such phrases become common, it's also natural for their deprecatory connotations to gradually bleach out, so that by now and stuff is just a more informal way to say "and so on". And even its syntactic status (as the end of a conjunction of nouns) has optionally faded out, so that it can be used to vague-ify adjectives and verbs as well:
Corky's Brother (Novel, 1969): They got along real well, laughing and stuff, but Pa never did say much to her, except to ask what he could do for her.
Sincerity Forever (Play, 1990): First I had a crush on him because I thought he was cute and stuff.
And there's some indication that and stuff has increased in frequency over the past 50 years or so:
Since shit has also been used for a long time to mean (what the OED glosses as) "Rubbish, trash; something regarded as worthless", it was a natural substitute for stuff in such phrases. Thus the OED glosses and shit as "and so on; and similar stuff. Also used simply for emphasis", with citations back to 1965:
1965 C. Brown Manchild in Promised Land xiv. 333 They have their bakeries, their groceries, their delicatessens, and shit, but they don't have a lot of bars and liquor stores.
1986 D. A. Dye Platoon (1987) vi. 109 Look at them papers… That looks like maps and shit.
Because shit is a taboo word, it's hard to know how long this usage has been around, but I'm certain that and shit was used in just that way when I was growing up in the 1950s.
But again, there's some evidence that and shit has been increasing in frequency, parallel to and stuff:
And then there's all in OED sense C.1.a. "With a past participle, adjective, or (later also) adjectival phrase: wholly, completely, entirely; altogether, quite; fully; (later also in somewhat weakened use) to a strikingly large extent; very much".
The OED's earliest citation is
OE Genesis B 756 Hit is nu Adame eall forgolden.
Some later cites:
1548 W. Turner Names of Herbes sig. B.iijv, It [sc. Asparagus] maye be called in englishe pricky Sperage, because it is all full of pryckes.
1611 Bible (King James) Nahum iii. 1 Woe to the bloody City, it is all full of lyes and robberie.
1648 R. Herrick Hesperides sig. L8, Lips she has, all Rubie red.
1671 in M. P. Brown Suppl. Dict. Decisions Court of Session (1826) II. 704 When first shown it was most white and tight, the next time it was all sullied, rankled, and torn.
1921 M. E. Stone Fifty Years Journalist vii. 355 To me it seemed all wrong.
So "all proper and shit" simply combines the adjectival intensification of "all wrong" with the conjunctive fuzzification of "cute and stuff". It should be no surprise that the 1973 movie script Don't Play Us Cheap has
Brother Luther rat does not dig that jive one bit — Irresponsible Imps coming down and getting innocent bystanding rats and roaches who haven't done a thing all squashed and stuff.
Or that the 2005 novel Hissy Fit has
Once we're married, it won't be as much fun as this. We'll be all legal and stuff.
The residual deprecatory tinge of and stuff|shit adds a tang of irony to such phrases, which is clear in the "makes my writing seem all proper and shit" example that Howard picked up on in the first place. But like the rest of this phrase's form and meaning, the irony seems to me to be a predictable function of the parts that it's made from.
Could this particular word sequence have become an idiom, all the same? Maybe, but it'll take more than a few examples to persuade me. There are quite a few other adjectives that are more common than proper in the frame "all __ and shit": sweaty, funny, ready, open, messed up, confused, …