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David Emery

Adventures in Epithetymology

By January 17, 2013

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As the story goes...

Certain types of manure used to be transported (as everything was back then) by ship. In dry form it weighs a lot less, 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. 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 discovered what was happening.

After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term "S.H.I.T.," which meant to the sailors, "Ship High In Transit."

Or maybe not!

Also see:
Origin of the F-Word
History of "The Finger"
The True Meaning of "Dork"

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