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Ship High in Transit
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~Lenore    Posted 07-01-2004 at 08:00:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
An exciting historical fact you should know about shipping Manure:

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

It was also before commercial fertilizer's invention, so large shipments of manure were common.

It was shipped dry, because in that 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 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 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," 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 always thought it was a golf term.

(Sent to me by my son in law a golfer. ;-)

Bob Mi    Posted 07-01-2004 at 10:13:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Lenore YOU are just a welth of Knowledge !!!Love it.

MJ in SC    Posted 07-01-2004 at 09:18:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks for the History lesson. My 13 yr old son really enjoyed it! He's says now he can say, "Oh, ship High In Transit" and not get in trouble!!! LOL

Patria    Posted 07-01-2004 at 09:05:20       [Reply]  [No Email] a matter of fact, a couple of weeks ago I was reading another forum in which the origing of the word s.h.i.t. was being discussed.:-)
Your origing of the word was mentioned, as well as a much older usage for it before 1,000 A.D.
The thread turned way too [etymologically] advanced for my poor knowledge of the english language..and now that you post it here I went to the Merriam-Webster online, read all the way through, nothing new actually...but at the end of the page reads a "for more information on "shit" go to"...:-)

eg    Posted 07-01-2004 at 08:08:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
thanks, now i know! i love that word. it works well with others. i should stop now before i step
in it.LOL!

Alias    Posted 07-01-2004 at 08:04:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks Lenore for the enlightenment. But, no, I nevah really wondered how the word came about. It just always seemed to be the natural word to use whenever one stepped in it........gfp

Urban Legends    Posted 07-01-2004 at 11:31:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
It's a good story, but Urban Legends gives another origin for word.
Steve from TN

Cindi    Posted 07-01-2004 at 08:25:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
I wonder about the origins of words all the time,and I am glad to know this one. Thanks Lenore!

Clod    Posted 07-01-2004 at 15:54:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well..Methane gas can be used to fuel internal combustion or steam engines. But it takes a bunch of the ------. By the way,,That same word is in the Old Testament.

Cindi    Posted 07-01-2004 at 17:11:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Are you serious!? I had no idea.

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