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BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms

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GUEST,Knappo 04 Sep 02 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 04 Sep 02 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Taliesn 04 Sep 02 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Knappo 04 Sep 02 - 10:58 AM
Joe Offer 04 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM
Steve Parkes 04 Sep 02 - 11:44 AM
Amos 04 Sep 02 - 11:48 AM
Tiger 04 Sep 02 - 12:15 PM
gnomad 04 Sep 02 - 02:53 PM
Mr Red 04 Sep 02 - 04:05 PM
Gurney 05 Sep 02 - 03:08 AM
GUEST,MCP 05 Sep 02 - 05:12 AM
Ralphie 05 Sep 02 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,MCP 05 Sep 02 - 06:21 AM
Nerd 05 Sep 02 - 01:35 PM
Amos 05 Sep 02 - 02:57 PM
The Walrus 05 Sep 02 - 08:16 PM
Steve Parkes 06 Sep 02 - 03:21 AM
Gurney 06 Sep 02 - 07:08 AM
Steve Parkes 06 Sep 02 - 08:04 AM
Wincing Devil 06 Sep 02 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 06 Sep 02 - 08:58 AM
Melani 06 Sep 02 - 11:07 PM
Mr Red 07 Sep 02 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Bman 07 Sep 02 - 09:07 AM
Steve Parkes 09 Sep 02 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 09 Sep 02 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,MCp 09 Sep 02 - 07:48 AM
Steve Parkes 09 Sep 02 - 10:32 AM
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Subject: S.H.I.T ; Origins of...
From: GUEST,Knappo
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 07:58 AM

And for all of you Navy guys...

A bit of maritime historical information: Ever wonder where the word "shit" came from?

In the early days of commercial shipping, manure, as with countless other commodities, was shipped by sea. In dry form, manure was relatively light in weight and was easily manageable in shipping. However, stored in the lower holds below the water line, if it became wet, it held the moisture and became a weight problem. More than that the fermentation process was set in motion (the byproduct being methane gas).

The manure was stored below decks in bundles. If they became wet, methane began to build up. When someone went below deck at night with a lantern...KABOOM!!!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was understood what was happening. After the discovery maritime regulations stated that all bundles of manure where to be stamped with the letters S.H.I.T. for "Ship High in Transit."

In other words, this particular cargo must be stored high enough above the lower decks so that any water which came into the hold would not wet the volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

So, the next time you use the term, "shit," you will be demonstrating your knowledge of little known historical events, technical maritime terms and the evolution of a unique well known colloquialism. Now, you really do know your shit!

Well, what do ya think? I have my doubts. Any other ideas on the origins of the word?


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of...
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 08:02 AM

Pasted from the thread on mediaeval swearing:

"So, a quick poke around the Oxford English Dictionary reveals that "shit" comes from the olde English for diarrhoea, scitte, which is itself Germanic in origin, from scheissen, possibly via the Danish shitjen. So it's one that's been with us for some time. Shite too goes back along way, and was even used to describe a whole range of birds in the heron family during the late 18th century: shitepokes were allegedly so called for their habit of crapping themselves when disturbed. Good to see twitchers had a sense of humour back then. "


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of...
From: GUEST,Taliesn
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 08:12 AM

South Hampton Institute of Technology.


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of...
From: GUEST,Knappo
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 10:58 AM

Right after I posted this I saw the Mediaeval Swearing thread. That seems to be more believable.


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Subject: POSH - Etymology
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM

I imagin there are a number of fanciful etymologies that are quite widespread.

When I was in the UK in August, I heard the word "posh" more than I've ever heard it in my entire life. Two people told me that "posh" came from an acronym for "port out, starboard home." Allegedly, well-off passengers were put on the port side of the ship on the way to India, to keep them from the hot sun; and on the starboard side on the way back for the same reason. One could wonder why it shouldn't be PMSA (Port morning, Starboard afternoon...).

I checked two dictionaries, and didn't find this etymology. Admittedly, both dictionaries are American. The one that did give an etymology said that it was obsolete British slang for "dandy" that was earlier "push" or "poosh." Currently, it is a colloquial term meaning luxurious, fashionable, or elegant. The term is also used in the United States, but not as frequently.

So, anyhow, can anybody find documentation for the "port out / starboard home" etymology?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of...
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 11:44 AM

Joe, the acronym theory is wrong! (As most of them are.) Take a butcher's--sorry, a look--here for posh, or here and search the page for SH*T, for an answer. Take Our Word For It is excellent for ths kind of thing, as is Michael Quinion's World Wide Words.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Amos
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 11:48 AM

First of all, people are awfully liberal with inventing acronym-based explanations for words which in fact have perfectly sound Anglo-Saxon roots, such as "fuck" and "shit". Etymology doesn't usually trace back to acronyms earlier than the 20th century, because they were not the infectious (and some times pathological) practice they have since become. I am sure some acronyms were used in the nineteenth century, but I woudl be surprised to find many earlier than that.

The best references for etymology I know of are the OED, the large American Heritage Dictionary, and Skeets's Etymological Dictionary.
Pseudo-etymology, like pseudo-science, can be very misleading, and very irritating, and is often rich with amazing stupidity and ignorance.

As regards "posh" I believe there is no documentation for the port/starboard legend. It is much more likely it derives from an Indian word and was adopted during the era of Empire just as "dhobie" and "wallah" were.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Tiger
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 12:15 PM

Doesn't it just happen?


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: gnomad
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 02:53 PM

The day before POETS day? (Sorry Honey, Its Thursday)


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Mr Red
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 04:05 PM

In New Zealand my Brother-in-law lives just off State Highway 1. or as the signs put it... SH1
In a land so beloved of tagging and graffiti I could not understand why no-one had added (T) for trunk road.


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Gurney
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 03:08 AM

Just read Knappo's original post. BUNDLES of shit?? The mind boggles. (Must look BOGGLE up someday.) Wassail.


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 05:12 AM

OED for posh gives 1918 slang perhaps derived from 19th century posh meaning money or a dandy (origin unknown). On this historical use of posh, my dictionary of historical slang says: "1.money; specifically a halfpenny or other coin of low value (~1839) from Romany posh = a half, as in posh-horri a halfpenny and posh-koorona a half-crown 2. a dandy ...(~1897) possibly derived from 1. or a corruption of (big) pot"

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Ralphie
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 06:04 AM

Anybody remember the Derbyshire based Guitar trio
"Six Hands In Tempo" ? Jolly fine they were too
Ralphie


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 06:21 AM

Odd place for this Ralphie, but I have one of their records. (All In Good Time)

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Nerd
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 01:35 PM

Perhaps Mudcat should crown a "Currently Reigning Acronym Person" to collect all the supposed acronym etymologies and put them in the CRAP file...


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Amos
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 02:57 PM

Thanks, MCP. I find that far more credible, in the way of words, than the legend of port and starboard.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: The Walrus
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 08:16 PM

I've never understood this idea of crediting the origins of terms like "shit" & "fuck" to accronyms, as there is one major logical block. At the time the terms were supposedly invented and "popularised", the majority of thew population were illiterate. Accronyms when you can't read? - there doesn't seem much point to me.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 03:21 AM

W, that sounds like an excellent rule of thumb for testing the likelihood of acronymic etymologies. In fact, everyday words originating from acronyms are very rare, and even more rare before the 20th century.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 07:08 AM

In the years following the 1066 invasion of England, the peasantry spoke Saxon(old english) and the nobility spoke Norman French. As the two languages became English, often the Saxon word was regarded as rude and the French word polite. This is why we have so many synonyms, and it's not likely that anyone ever had a vocabulary of even the majority of words available to the deliberately erudite. I've also made up a few acronyms, and it is an easy mindset to get in, so I don't believe most of them.

Have you ever thought: If Harold had won, The Britons and possibly the Americans would be speaking German. Wouldn't that have made a difference to modern history!

OK, OK, herstory too. Chris.


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 08:04 AM

Beef, mutton and pork instead of ox, sheep and swine. Kipling wrote something along those lines, only it's too icba to look up.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Wincing Devil
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 08:53 AM

Legend has it that when folks were caught "doin' the nasty", they were put in the stocks with a sign telling why they were there: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.

It's gotta be true, I heard it at the Sam Houston Institute of Technology


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 08:58 AM

Gurney's account is the one I've heard, that it's an old bias that makes some saxon words seem crude, or "bad words." Some jokes don't translate to German because there's no equivalent category of naughty words.

Two boys decide they're old enough to swear. The older brother decides he can say Goddamn, and tells the younger one he can say Hell. The next morning they go down to breakfast and their mother asks what they'd like. Big brother says I'll have some Goddamn cornflakes, and his mother slaps him out of his chair, he sits on the floor crying. She asks the little brother what he'd like, and he says I don't know, but I sure as Hell don't want cornflakes.


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Melani
Date: 06 Sep 02 - 11:07 PM

Taking it in the other direction (from acronym to everyday word), my favorite acronym of all time is the one that caused the First Unitarian Church of Kensington to change its name to the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley, even though it's actually located in Kensington.


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Sep 02 - 06:57 AM

POSH
In my Grandmothers' days a POSH was the notso automatic washing machine. The Tub was barrel shaped but made of corrugated galvanised steel and called a poshing tub though no doubt it was designed to replace (and look like) a wooden barrel. The agitator was called a dolly posh or posher and looked loke a milking stool with a spade handle coming out of the seat. Motive force was provided by woman power and invariably involved a vertical and a helical motion. Unless you were really POSH and sent it all to a laundary or really really POSH and had a woman "who does".
The Port Out and Starboard Home theory is disputed by many accedemics.


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: GUEST,Bman
Date: 07 Sep 02 - 09:07 AM

A somewhat thread-creepy comment on words coming from acronyms: near my hometown in Michigan there's a small town named Novi, the name of which supposedly derives from its being the number six stop on the Detroit-to-Lansing stagecoach line...No. VI. Don't know if it's true, but it's a good story.

On the S.H.I.T. subject, there's an e-mail that occasionally makes the rounds about Specialized High Intensity Training. It's pretty lengthy, and pretty funny...if you're not getting enough S.H.I.T. you can request more, that sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 05:57 AM

Mr Red, there's a big difference between a dolly and a posher! The dolly you've described; the posher is a ... well, imagine a copper dish, about 8 or 9 inches across; take a saucepan lid that fits, and put it on upside down and fix it in place: now make a row of neat holes around the edge of the dish and the edge of the lid (so the water can get in and out again); turn the whole thing upside down and fix a wooden handle to the centre, about 2 foot long: there you have your posher. Fill the bath with hto water & washing powder, and add the washing; work it all up and down with the posher to force the water through the clothes. Note that it makes a sort of "posh-posh" noise, whence the name. A clever device: it forces water through the washing when you push, and sucks it back the other way when you pull, but the holes make sure the force is never too high.

I've still got the posher after all these years: it makes a pretty ornament when it's polished up.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 07:00 AM

Working as I do in the Community Sector in Sheffield it's full of acronyms i.e. SLEEP, SCOOP etc. We wanted to form a new one called SPLIFF and insteading of having a chair we were going to have a sette or some bean bags. And Ralphie you're right about Six Hands they were rather good


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: GUEST,MCp
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 07:48 AM

Steve and Mr. Red - where I grew up (Middlesbrough) the word involved was poss, not posh, as in a possing tub, so no confusion was possible.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: S.H.I.T ; Origins of... / Acronyms
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 10:32 AM

Mick, I reckon it's onomaopoeic, so it depends on your ear and your accent. (So we're both right!)


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Mudcat time: 14 August 2:12 PM EDT

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