more fan-hitting

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Sun Oct 12 01:55:57 UTC 2008

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 Monday.


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 -

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