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History of an S word


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interesting... not sure of the source, got this in a forward:

"In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship

and 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 byproduct 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 " , (Ship High In Transport) which has come

down through the centuries and is in use to this very day. "

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aw, looks like it's a hoax:


"Comments: Well, clever as all that may be, whoever wrote it doesn't know **** about ****. According to my dictionary, the word is much older than the 1800s, appearing in its earliest form about 1,000 years ago as the Old English verb scitan. That is confirmed by lexicographer Hugh Rawson in his bawdily edifying book, "Wicked Words" (New York: Crown, 1989), where it is further noted that the expletive is distantly related to words like science, schedule and shield, all of which derive from the Indo-European root skei-, meaning "to cut" or "to split." You get the idea.

For most of its history "****" was spelled "****e" (and sometimes still is), but the modern, four-letter spelling of the word can be found in texts dating as far back as the mid-1700s. It most certainly did not originate as an acronym used by 19th-century sailors.

Apropos that false premise, Rawson observes that "****" has long been the subject of naughty wordplay, very often based on made-up acronyms on the order of "Ship High in Transit." For example:

In the Army, officers who did not go to West Point have been known to disparage the military academy as the South Hudson Institute of Technology.... And if an angelic six-year-old asks, "Would you like to have some Sugar Honey Iced Tea?", the safest course is to pretend that you have suddenly gone stone deaf.

Finally, all these stories are reminiscent of another specimen of folk etymology claiming that the F-word (another good, old-fashioned, all-purpose, four-letter expletive) originated as the acronym of "Fornication Under Consent of the King," or, in another variant, "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge."

Suffice it to say, it's all C.R.A.P. "

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