more fan-hitting

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Oct 12 02:51:04 UTC 2008

At 8:55 PM -0500 10/11/08, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
>Hi Wilson,
>   It's not based on a pun but on a scatalogical joke, where the
>stuff really did hit the fan.  I treated this topic in Comments on
>Etymology, vol. 20, no. 8, May 1991, p. 12.  I'll mail you a copy on

Ah, but other inquiring minds want to know.  Couldn't you summarize
the scatological joke in this forum?


>Original message from Wilson Gray, Sat 10/11/2008 8:16 PM
>How long has "shit hit the fan" been around? Ca.1953-55 in Saint
>Louis, there was a joking pun? / punning joke? whose punchline was,
>"Blessings on thee, little man!
>"Where wert thou when the fit hit the shan?"
>I heard the pun *before* I heard the actual expression, so that I had
>to have the point of the pun explained to me and, even then, I had to
>study over it awhile. I couldn't easily picture how it would come
>about that shit would be hitting a fan.
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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