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Thread: How a word evolved

  1. #1

    How a word evolved

    Having been accused of being full of it in the past I thought it worthy of a little investigation. Read this.

    Manure: 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 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 " , (Ship High In Transport) 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 shooting term

    John

  2. #2
    DaveG
    Guest

    Bursting your bubble

    Sorry to have to burst you bubble john but.................................


    The word **** has a long and well-documented history, far older than any large-scale organized sea-trade in northern Europe. Anglo-Saxon leechdom books use scittan in reference to cattle having diarrhea. A Latin text from 1118 refers to "Lues animalium, quĉ Anglice Scitta vocatur, Latine autem fluxus interaneorum dici potest."

    There are many examples of the verb from the 14th century [e.g., from 1387: ŝey wolde ... make hem a pitte ... whan ŝey wolde schite ...; and whanne ŝey hadde i-schete ŝey wolde fille ŝe pitte agen."]. The noun is attested from the 16th century, both in reference to excrement and to contemptible people.

    The acronym theory of the origin of **** can't explain the related words in other languages, such as German Scheiss, Dutch schijt, Old Norse skita, and Lithuanian sikti, which come from the same prehistoric root. As far as I know, there's no corresponding acronym to "ship high in transit" in the merchant marine history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

    Which brings up another point. It's impossible to prove a negative, and I'm not the world's leading expert on shipping, but I have done a great deal of historical research, including detailed examination of ship's manifests going back to the 17th century and studies of trade and tariffs and commerce, and I've never found anyone anywhere shipping manure. People shipped a lot of strange things over long distances (bricks, for instance). But if there's one thing that an all-seeing providence has liberally supplied to every inhabited corner of the globe, it's ****. Who ever transported it often enough that ****-shipping evolved a jargon? Guano -- bird droppings as a source of nitrates -- became an important article of trade in the mid-1800s, but this is much too late for ****, and anyway guano is guano, **** is ****.

    A correspondent notes another problem: "I am a sailor. Things go below deck to stay dry ... they don't generally get wet there." Another, a physics teacher, writes, [M]ethane gas would not 'build up' in the hold of a ship. It is lighter than air and in any unsealed space would dissipate upward fast enough that an explosive mixture would not accumulate."

    So, the acronym theory for the origin of "****" breaks down because:

    * the word itself is a good 1,000 years older than the common use of acronyms;
    * the original form of the word (Anglo-Saxon sc-, which regularly evolved into M.E. sh-) does not correspond to the supposed acronym;
    * the verb is the original form, the noun derives from it; the acronym supposes the noun came first;
    * no one has produced a single instance of this supposed acronym from any old mercantile record or ship's manifest;
    * in fact, no one has ever established that there was a custom of shipping manure;
    * the word has cognates in many other languages, including ones outside Germanic, for which no acronym theory of origin makes sense;

    http://www.etymonline.com/baloney.php

    DG

  3. #3
    Oh ****!! - I as all set to blame Beowulf and his mates for spreading too much ****

    John

    PS How do you know so much about it, your account is so detailed and fact filled, whereas mine was just, well **** really

  4. #4
    JAYB,

    I must admit that DaveG version of events sound more credible. However, I must admit I do rather prefer yours Excellent

  5. #5
    JayB where on earth did you find that from, and why the hell did you believe it?

    I reckon you would be an absolute failure on Call My Bluff.

  6. #6

    Re: Bursting your bubble

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG


    The word **** has a long and well-documented history, far older than any large-scale organized sea-trade in northern Europe. Anglo-Saxon leechdom books use scittan in reference to cattle having diarrhea. A Latin text from 1118 refers to "Lues animalium, quĉ Anglice Scitta vocatur, Latine autem fluxus interaneorum dici potest."

    There are many examples of the verb from the 14th century [e.g., from 1387: ŝey wolde ... make hem a pitte ... whan ŝey wolde schite ...; and whanne ŝey hadde i-schete ŝey wolde fille ŝe pitte agen."]. The noun is attested from the 16th century, both in reference to excrement and to contemptible people.

    The acronym theory of the origin of **** can't explain the related words in other languages, such as German Scheiss, Dutch schijt, Old Norse skita, and Lithuanian sikti, which come from the same prehistoric root. As far as I know, there's no corresponding acronym to "ship high in transit" in the merchant marine history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

    Which brings up another point. It's impossible to prove a negative, and I'm not the world's leading expert on shipping, but I have done a great deal of historical research, including detailed examination of ship's manifests going back to the 17th century and studies of trade and tariffs and commerce, and I've never found anyone anywhere shipping manure. People shipped a lot of strange things over long distances (bricks, for instance). But if there's one thing that an all-seeing providence has liberally supplied to every inhabited corner of the globe, it's ****. Who ever transported it often enough that ****-shipping evolved a jargon? Guano -- bird droppings as a source of nitrates -- became an important article of trade in the mid-1800s, but this is much too late for ****, and anyway guano is guano, **** is ****.

    A correspondent notes another problem: "I am a sailor. Things go below deck to stay dry ... they don't generally get wet there." Another, a physics teacher, writes, [M]ethane gas would not 'build up' in the hold of a ship. It is lighter than air and in any unsealed space would dissipate upward fast enough that an explosive mixture would not accumulate."

    So, the acronym theory for the origin of "****" breaks down because:

    * the word itself is a good 1,000 years older than the common use of acronyms;
    * the original form of the word (Anglo-Saxon sc-, which regularly evolved into M.E. sh-) does not correspond to the supposed acronym;
    * the verb is the original form, the noun derives from it; the acronym supposes the noun came first;
    * no one has produced a single instance of this supposed acronym from any old mercantile record or ship's manifest;
    * in fact, no one has ever established that there was a custom of shipping manure;
    * the word has cognates in many other languages, including ones outside Germanic, for which no acronym theory of origin makes sense;

    http://www.etymonline.com/baloney.php

    DG
    sorry DaveG
    any chance you could shorten it and make it a little more exciting

    JAYB
    your version may not be right but did not fall asleep reading it

  7. #7
    DaveG
    Guest

    Re: Bursting your bubble

    Quote Originally Posted by stone
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG


    The word **** has a long and well-documented history, far older than any large-scale organized sea-trade in northern Europe. Anglo-Saxon leechdom books use scittan in reference to cattle having diarrhea. A Latin text from 1118 refers to "Lues animalium, quĉ Anglice Scitta vocatur, Latine autem fluxus interaneorum dici potest."

    There are many examples of the verb from the 14th century [e.g., from 1387: ŝey wolde ... make hem a pitte ... whan ŝey wolde schite ...; and whanne ŝey hadde i-schete ŝey wolde fille ŝe pitte agen."]. The noun is attested from the 16th century, both in reference to excrement and to contemptible people.

    The acronym theory of the origin of **** can't explain the related words in other languages, such as German Scheiss, Dutch schijt, Old Norse skita, and Lithuanian sikti, which come from the same prehistoric root. As far as I know, there's no corresponding acronym to "ship high in transit" in the merchant marine history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

    Which brings up another point. It's impossible to prove a negative, and I'm not the world's leading expert on shipping, but I have done a great deal of historical research, including detailed examination of ship's manifests going back to the 17th century and studies of trade and tariffs and commerce, and I've never found anyone anywhere shipping manure. People shipped a lot of strange things over long distances (bricks, for instance). But if there's one thing that an all-seeing providence has liberally supplied to every inhabited corner of the globe, it's ****. Who ever transported it often enough that ****-shipping evolved a jargon? Guano -- bird droppings as a source of nitrates -- became an important article of trade in the mid-1800s, but this is much too late for ****, and anyway guano is guano, **** is ****.

    A correspondent notes another problem: "I am a sailor. Things go below deck to stay dry ... they don't generally get wet there." Another, a physics teacher, writes, [M]ethane gas would not 'build up' in the hold of a ship. It is lighter than air and in any unsealed space would dissipate upward fast enough that an explosive mixture would not accumulate."

    So, the acronym theory for the origin of "****" breaks down because:

    * the word itself is a good 1,000 years older than the common use of acronyms;
    * the original form of the word (Anglo-Saxon sc-, which regularly evolved into M.E. sh-) does not correspond to the supposed acronym;
    * the verb is the original form, the noun derives from it; the acronym supposes the noun came first;
    * no one has produced a single instance of this supposed acronym from any old mercantile record or ship's manifest;
    * in fact, no one has ever established that there was a custom of shipping manure;
    * the word has cognates in many other languages, including ones outside Germanic, for which no acronym theory of origin makes sense;

    http://www.etymonline.com/baloney.php

    DG
    sorry DaveG
    any chance you could shorten it and make it a little more exciting

    JAYB
    your version may not be right but did not fall asleep reading it
    Ah! The so often heard wail of the MTV generation. If they have to work at acquiring knowledge and information its unexciting. Is it any wonder that we as a country are getting our arses kick by the far east.

  8. #8
    do not fear as your saviour is here 8)
    i am off the to the far east on tomorrow and i will be packing
    well as far as norfolk thats far enough east for me
    whats MTV generation i think that was before my time?

  9. #9
    Poddle,

    You dozy bugger I did not believe it, I was waiting for Beowulf to wade in with some comment ripping the piddle out of me, then I could have had a bit of fun about matelots and the brown stuff

    Now it's gone and backfired on me, never mind must try harder.

    John

  10. #10
    So what's a Beowulf then jayB


    Now there is blank canvas for you.

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