[Ads-l] Above the freight

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 23 15:25:43 UTC 2015

> On Dec 22, 2015, at 10:18 PM, W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> CNN Don Lemon:  Chris Christie chose not to comment & stay "above the
> freight" on Trump's use of <schlonged>. <fray ~ freight>.
A very indirect reference to the classic etymythological faux-acronymic origin of "SHIT" as "Stow/Ship High In Transit"?

If you really insist on the details, here's one version making the e-rounds now and again (random capitalization in original).  I love the last comment--so turns out it's not a golf term, unlike "Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden".  So Christie would seek to be up there above the freight too.


Manure... An interesting fact

Manure: 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, of which a byproduct is Methane gas of course. 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, 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 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

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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