[Dixielandjazz] The "S" word

Len Nielsen lennielsen at telus.net
Fri Feb 14 19:01:08 PST 2003

This is a messy subject that can stand a bit of sanitizing. I submit the
below mentioned info which was sent to me recently, although I do not
know  it's origin or whether it is accurate. 

Len Nielsen


Subject: Fw: Ship High in transit

                            Subject: Well, I'll Be ....
Ever wonder where the word SHIT comes from? Well, here it is:
Certain types of manure used to be transported (as everything was years
ago) by ship. 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
   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,
   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" on
them, which meant to the
sailors to "Ship High In Transit." In other words, 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.
   Bet you didn't know the history of that word? Neither did I. I always
thought it was a golf term !!!
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