Shell nouns, such as fact and problem, occur frequently in all kinds of texts. These nouns themselves are unspecific, and can only be interpreted together with the shell content. We propose a general approach to automatically identify shell content of shell nouns. Our approach exploits lexico-syntactic knowledge derived from the linguistics literature. We evaluate the approach on a variety of shell nouns with a variety of syntactic expectations, achieving accuracies in the range of 62% (baseline = 33%) to 83% (baseline = 74%) on crowd-annotated data.