Thread Starter
Feb 7, 2001
Exciting Historical information you need to know about shipping manure:

In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship.
It was also before commercial fertilizer's invention, so large shipments of
manure were common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by-product is methane gas.

As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen. Methane began to build up below decks, and the first time someone came below at night, with a lantern, BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening. After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term, " Ship High In Transit" on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term "S.H.I.T," which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

You probably did not know the true history of this word. Neither did I. I
always thought it was a golf term.



Gone but Never Forgotten
Jun 2, 2002
Very informative tipacanoe, but I have to say that that story was one load of s**t!

Sorry pal! I couldn't resist! :rolleyes:

Nov 22, 2003
And to think all these years ive been believing the theory of 'cursed curse words'...
Nov 24, 2002
Sorry to be the one to debunk a good story but:

The word sh1t entered modern English language derived from the Old English nouns scite and the Middle Low German schite, both meaning "dung," and the Old English noun scitte, meaning "diarrhea." Our most treasured cuss word has been with us a long time, showing up in written works both as a noun and as a verb as far back as the 14th century.

Scite can trace its roots back to the proto-Germanic root skit-, which brought us the German scheisse, Dutch schijten, Swedish skita, and Danish skide. Skit- comes from the Indo-European root skheid- for "split, divide, separate," thus sh1t is distantly related to schism and schist. (If you're wondering what a verb root for the act of separating one thing from another would have to do with excrement, it was in the sense of the body's eliminating its waste -- "separating" from it, so to speak. Sort of the opposite of today's "getting one's sh1t together.")
Well that is interesting. It would appear that saying "sh1t" entered the English language at a specifiable time from outside, whereas speaking "sh1t" has always been a common part of American! ;)

Incidentally it shows the greater accuracy of the north of England dialects as we almost always speak of sh1te not sh1t, (as in white not wit :D)!
Feb 17, 2001
LOL @ Albert

That was very interesting and something I did not know, and a word a use too often. :eek: :D

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