A n   I n t e r e s t i n g    F a c t
 A b o u t    M a n u r e

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

and it was also before the  invention of commercial fertilizers, so large  shipments of manure were quite common.

It was shipped  dry, because in dry form, it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, not only did  it become heavier, but the process of fermentation began again and a by-product is methane gas that formed again. 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 determined just what was  happening. After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the

instruction ' Stow 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 ', (Stow High In Transit) 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 golf  term.

This story is a hoax. There is no historical evidence that “Ship High in Transit” aboard ships was the origin for the word “shit.”  The eRumor has circulated on the Internet since about 2000. This issue is specifically addressed by the folks at the Online Etymology Dictionary who say that “Despite what you read in an e-mail, ‘shit’ is not an acronym.”

The Merriiam-Webster dictionary dates the word back to 1526 and says that it is from the Old English scite and akin to a related word –scitan and means to defecate. 

A writer for the Online Etymology Dictionary points out that the use acronyms didn’t develop until the 20th century so a word that is hundreds of years old would not have originated as an acronym.