Saturday, October 16, 2010

Interesting Word Origin...

As I come across interesting historical facts, I like to share them.  Since this one has to do with my favorite word, I thought you might like to know the origin:

Manure . . . an interesting fact

Manure: In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas of course. 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 instruction ' Stow 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. ' , (Stow High In Transit) 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 had always thought it was a golf term.

3 comments:

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ginger,
Great explanation. Shit is my favourite swear word.I use it a lot. Now if hubby complains about me using it, yes I have dropped it a few times in inapproapite places, I'll be able to say in all honesty that it is an historical abbreviation.

Cheers

Margaret

Katie Hines said...

Great and funny little post there. I'm glad to finally know its origin, but still will probably not use it in that form since most people I know wouldn't appreciate it! But (sneak, sneak), you're right - shit happens

Pat Dale said...

LOL, Ginger! I've had lots of that stuff blow up in my face. Now I know why.
Pat Dale

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