Manure – an explanation

Manure… 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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1 Response to Manure – an explanation

  1. Dave says:

    The “SHIT” explanation is exactly that, shit ;).

    The real story:

    The word shit entered the modern English language via having been derived from the Old English nouns scite and

    the Middle Low German schite, both meaning “dung,” and the Old English noun scitte, meaning “diarrhea.” Our most treasured cuss word has been with us a long time, showing up in written works both as a noun and as a verb as far back as the 14th century.

    Scite can trace its roots back to the proto-Germanic root skit-, which brought us the German scheisse, Dutch schijten, Swedish skita, and Danish skide. Skit- comes from the Indo-European root skheid- for “split, divide, separate,” thus shit is distantly related to schism and schist. (If you’re wondering what a verb root for the act of separating one thing from another would have to do with excrement, it was in the sense of the body’s eliminating its waste — “separating” from it, so to speak. Sort of the opposite of today’s “getting one’s shit together.”)

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