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how we got the slang for manure

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Well-known member
Mar 17, 2005
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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 byproduct is methane gas.
> Since 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.

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