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(295 posts)
Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:34 PM Mar 2021

Manure... An interesting fact.


In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything for export had to be transported by ship. 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.

Once water (at sea) hit it, not only did it become 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, BOOM!

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.

The instruction was naturally shortened to the stamp ' S.H.I.T ', (Stow High In Transit)

So it’s really not a swear word, but 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 golfing term.

If you've heard this before, it's still a good story. With all the crap happening right now, a laugh doesn't hurt. You're welcome.
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Manure... An interesting fact. (Original Post) mezame Mar 2021 OP
Funny, but it's folk etymology. Ocelot II Mar 2021 #1
Well, crap... Hugin Mar 2021 #2
Similar to the word "fuck" Wednesdays Mar 2021 #4
Very doubtful. Ocelot II Mar 2021 #6
That's a great site to have in your back pocket Ferrets are Cool Mar 2021 #9
Check out the German fikken dhol82 Mar 2021 #11
Could be Old Norse to Norwegian dialect "fukka." Ocelot II Mar 2021 #16
Let's face it, those are all related to proto-Germanic. dhol82 Mar 2021 #17
As does the act it describes. Ocelot II Mar 2021 #18
It was, and is, popular. dhol82 Mar 2021 #19
I would wager it goes back to proto Indo European DBoon Mar 2021 #21
Is there a comparable word for fuck in Greek? dhol82 Mar 2021 #22
Yea, not true TimeToGo Mar 2021 #12
Thomas Crapper gets most of the credit for inventing the modern-day flush toilet in abqtommy Mar 2021 #3
What about the poop deck? underpants Mar 2021 #5
Scheiss im Himmel! jeffreyi Mar 2021 #7
Shiiiiiiiiiiiit Yavin4 Mar 2021 #8
file that story under shit, comma bull paulkienitz Mar 2021 #10
There's a series on Netflix about this.... NurseJackie Mar 2021 #13
More facts about "manure" - mushrooms are grown under a bed of horse manure, and..... George II Mar 2021 #14
Another source dlk Mar 2021 #15
You just reminded me of my mother in law Bluesaph Mar 2021 #20

Ocelot II

(115,482 posts)
1. Funny, but it's folk etymology.
Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:39 PM
Mar 2021
Old English scitan, from Proto-Germanic *skit- (source also of North Frisian skitj, Dutch schijten, German scheissen), from PIE root *skei- "to cut, split." The notion is of "separation" from the body (compare Latin excrementum, from excernere "to separate," Old English scearn "dung, muck," from scieran "to cut, shear;" see sharn). It is thus a cousin to science and conscience.

"Shit" is not an acronym. The notion that it is a recent word might be partly because it was taboo from c. 1600 and rarely appeared in print (neither Shakespeare nor the KJV has it), and even in "vulgar" publications of the late 18c. it is disguised by dashes. It drew the wrath of censors as late as 1922 ("Ulysses" and "The Enormous Room" ), scandalized magazine subscribers in 1957 (a Hemingway story in Atlantic Monthly) and was omitted from some dictionaries as recently as 1970 ("Webster's New World" ).

Extensive slang usage; meaning "to lie, to tease" is from 1934; that of "to disrespect" is from 1903. Shite, now a jocular or slightly euphemistic and chiefly British variant of the noun, formerly a dialectal variant, reflects the vowel in the Old English verb (compare German scheissen); the modern verb has been influenced by the noun. Shat is a humorous past tense form, not etymological, first recorded 18c. To shit bricks "be very frightened" attested by 1961. The connection between fear and involuntary defecation has generated expressions in English since 14c. (the image also is in Latin), and probably also is behind scared shitless (1936).


(32,948 posts)
2. Well, crap...
Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:50 PM
Mar 2021

Has a confusing story associated with it as well.

Many people think it came from a popular line of toilet fixtures sold by Thomas Crapper. But, no, the word 'crap' existed before and it was only an irony that 'crapper' toilet fixtures were produced. However, the term 'crapper' for a toilet may have originated with those fixtures or maybe not.


(17,285 posts)
4. Similar to the word "fuck"
Tue Mar 16, 2021, 07:07 PM
Mar 2021

Having its roots in the acronym used by medieval courts to condemn fornicators, "for unlawful carnal knowledge" (F.U.C.K.). Personally, I think that's doubtful.

Ocelot II

(115,482 posts)
6. Very doubtful.
Tue Mar 16, 2021, 07:12 PM
Mar 2021
fuck (v.)

"to have sexual intercourse with" (transitive), until recently a difficult word to trace in usage, in part because it was omitted as taboo by the editors of the original OED when the "F" entries were compiled (1893-97). Johnson also had excluded the word, and fuck wasn't in a single English language dictionary from 1795 to 1965. "The Penguin Dictionary" broke the taboo in the latter year. Houghton Mifflin followed, in 1969, with "The American Heritage Dictionary," but it also published a "Clean Green" edition without the word, to assure itself access to the public high school market.

Written form attested from at least early 16c.; OED 2nd edition cites 1503, in the form fukkit, and the earliest attested appearance of current spelling is 1535 ("Bischops ... may fuck thair fill and be vnmaryit" [Sir David Lyndesay, "Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaits"]). Presumably it is a more ancient word, but one not written in the kind of texts that have survived from Old English and Middle English [September 2015: the verb appears to have been found recently in an English court manuscript from 1310]. Buck cites proper name John le Fucker from 1278, but that surname could have other explanations. The word apparently is hinted at in a scurrilous 15c. poem, titled "Flen flyys" ["Fleas, Flies (and Friars)"], written in bastard Latin and Middle English. The relevant line reads:

Non sunt in celi
quia fuccant uuiuys of heli

"They [the monks] are not in heaven because they fuck the wives of [the town of] Ely." Fuccant is pseudo-Latin, and in the original it is written in cipher. The earliest examples of the word otherwise are from Scottish, which suggests a Scandinavian origin, perhaps from a word akin to Norwegian dialectal fukka "copulate," or Swedish dialectal focka "copulate, strike, push," and fock "penis."


(9,351 posts)
17. Let's face it, those are all related to proto-Germanic.
Tue Mar 16, 2021, 10:45 PM
Mar 2021

The f word goes proudly back into prehistory!

Ocelot II

(115,482 posts)
18. As does the act it describes.
Tue Mar 16, 2021, 10:47 PM
Mar 2021

And those old proto-Germanic folks gave their descendants a word that would get a whole lot of use.


(14,118 posts)
3. Thomas Crapper gets most of the credit for inventing the modern-day flush toilet in
Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:57 PM
Mar 2021

1861. But before that the actual invention of the flush toilet can be traced back to a Brit named Sir John Harrington who, in 1596, devised a mechanism with a cord that, when pulled, flushed away waste with a rush of water.

I guess nobody wanted to say they had to take a Harrington!


But here's an interesting site giving the searchable world history of sewer systems that
goes way back in time. http://www.sewerhistory.org/sewerarticles/

I have personally observed this in a tour of the old Aztec Palace
that can be seen at The Zocalo in Mexico City. No shit!

George II

(67,782 posts)
14. More facts about "manure" - mushrooms are grown under a bed of horse manure, and.....
Tue Mar 16, 2021, 09:27 PM
Mar 2021

...for a long time mushroom farmers went to racetracks to haul away horse manure for free. After a while tracks started charging them to take it away.

Bill Veeck, a funny sports entrepreneur, was general manager at Suffolk Downs for a couple of years, and wrote a book about his experience those years. The title? "Twenty Tons A Day", which was how much manure was generated every day at that track.


(703 posts)
20. You just reminded me of my mother in law
Tue Mar 16, 2021, 11:04 PM
Mar 2021

May she Rest In Peace.

She told this to my littles long ago. She was an uneducated woman, literally. But she knew this.

God I miss her!

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