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.
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.
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
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
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.
probably did not know the true history of this word.