Do you know the origin of the word "SHIT" ?

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Do you know the origin of the word "SHIT" ?

Message  Guilaine le Ven 19 Juin - 12:31

An interesting fact Manure : 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, but 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, 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

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Re: Do you know the origin of the word "SHIT" ?

Message  MurielB le Ven 19 Juin - 14:01

No, I didn't know that story either !

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Re: Do you know the origin of the word "SHIT" ?

Message  gerardM le Sam 20 Juin - 0:37

Hi Guilaine, Muriel,

Very interesting.
However, I'm a bit skeptical as Brits are very good at urban legends and backronyms (FIAT = Fix It Another Time).

Etymology
The word is likely derived from Old English, having the nouns scite (dung, attested only in place names) and scitte (diarrhoea), and the verb scītan (to defecate, attested only in bescītan, to cover with excrement); eventually it morphed into Middle English schītte (excrement), schyt (diarrhoea) and shiten (to defecate), and it is virtually certain that it was used in some form by preliterate Germanic tribes at the time of the Roman Empire. The word may be further traced to Proto-Germanic *skit-, and ultimately to Proto-Indo-European *skheid- "cut, separate", the same root believed to have become the word shed. The word has several cognates in modern Germanic languages, such as German Scheiße, Dutch schijt, Swedish skit, Icelandic skítur, Norwegian skitt etc. Ancient Greek had 'skōr' (gen. 'skatos' hence 'scato-'), from Proto-Indo-European *sker-, which is likely unrelated.[2]
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shit )

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Re: Do you know the origin of the word "SHIT" ?

Message  Guilaine le Sam 20 Juin - 10:16

Hi Gérard,
Yes your explanation seems more academic indeed.
However the coincidence is amusing silent
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Re: Do you know the origin of the word "SHIT" ?

Message  gerardM le Sam 20 Juin - 16:11

Guilaine,
There are oodles of backronyms in English.
For long I was certain "tip" was an acronym - coming from people going to the theater who were having a drink before the performance; they gave a bill to the waiter "To Insure Prompt service"...
For long I believed "posh" was an acronym - after people going from England to India; as they wanted to see the coast, they needed to take a cabin on Port side when they were going out England, on the other hand, they wanted Starboard when coming back Home, hence POSH that described wealthy Brits.
Similarly, there are several origins for OK which are so exciting: Oll Korrect, 0 Killed, "au quai", etc!

For a long period in the 19th century, it was fashionable among American journalists to make up and publish such assertions.

British people love playing with words; the "density" of short words in the English language helps them but we must reckon they are talented!


Dernière édition par gerardM le Lun 22 Juin - 21:01, édité 1 fois (Raison : typo)

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Re: Do you know the origin of the word "SHIT" ?

Message  Guilaine le Lun 22 Juin - 14:39

Hi Gérard,

it's very interesting. I particularly like the TIP one !
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