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Old 19-11-2005, 00:05   #1
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Chewing the fat.

Isn't it interesting some of the "sayings" we have in our english language. But the most interesting is that many of these saying actually come from old sailing terms. They have long lost their actual origin and meaning, but have become a common part of our everyday language.
OK, this is what I propse to do, if no one minds that is. I have a few of these terms and sayings and backgrounds on them. I thought this might be fun if I did a daily quiz. I will endeavor to list a saying or term and see if anyone can say what it's original meaning was.
I am open to suggestions, but my thought was an answer to the current question and a new term ruffly every 24hrs.

The subject heading was what I thought was good to start all this off with. "Chewing the Fat". Any ideas.
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Old 19-11-2005, 01:12   #2
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I like S.H.I.T

For shipping manuure.............._/)

Store
High
In
Transit
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Old 19-11-2005, 07:31   #3
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Naves or Naval Roots

Chewing the Fat

"God made the vittles but the devil made the cook," was a popular saying used by seafaring men in the 19th century when salted beef was staple diet aboard ship.

This tough cured beef, suitable only for long voyages when nothing else was cheap or would keep as well (remember, there was no refrigeration), required prolonged chewing to make it edible. Men often chewed one chunk for hours, just as it were chewing gum and referred to this practice as "chewing the fat."

This is from an interesting site: http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/.../navyterm.html

Are you above board?
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Old 19-11-2005, 21:00   #4
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Hey Delmarrey, I do hope you are going to tell the story behind that one(S.H.I.T). It's very interesting.
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Old 19-11-2005, 21:54   #5
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Thumbs up S.H.I.T.

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. It 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 belowdecks 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 bundls 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 methane.

Thus evolved the term "S.H.I.T " , (Ship High In Transit) which has
come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.




OK Swaby! Get that **** below decks.
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Old 20-11-2005, 01:20   #6
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Good work SG.
OK, howbout this one. "The sailors prayer book". This original term is very old, from the days of traditional sailing ships and also known under another name in more recent times, although still before my parents were knee high to a grasshopper.
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Old 20-11-2005, 09:07   #7
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"It was a block of sandstone, smaller than a Holystone or Bible, used by sailors to scrub in among the crevices and hard-to-reach places aboard sailing ships of the day. "
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Old 20-11-2005, 09:07   #8
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Manure

Cows emit more methane than horses. Horse manure is not as toxic. If the manure pile is not getting hot as it should, water is hosed on the pile, and that starts the action. I forget the temperature ( possible 120 F ) that it is required before the manure can be savely used as fertilizer on plants. And a 3 month time at the correct temperature is required.
We have the farm for sale and I have already sold my manure spreader. The steam the heat, the mechanical parts whirling around, the flying ****, it is a thing of beauty.
Mature garbage dumps are now being used as a source of methane gas.
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Old 20-11-2005, 10:45   #9
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Folk Etymologies Are Fun, But…

I thought I remembered **** having an Anglo Saxon origin, so dug this up—

from the Wikepedia entry for "****":

Scholars trace the word back to Old Norse origin (skita), and it is virtually certain that it was used in some form by preliterate Germanic tribes at the time of the Roman Empire. It was originally adopted into Old English as scitte, eventually morphing into Middle English schitte. The word may be further traced to Proto-Germanic *skit-, and ultimately to Proto-Into-European *skheid-, "split, divide, separate." Conceptually, it refers to that part of the body (the excrement), which is "divided" from the rest of the body. It is related to the verb "to shed" (as in, "to shed one's skin"), "schism," and other words in common English usage.
"****" has cognates in many other Indo-European languages, including Greek, where the cognate root skor, skato- has been borrowed into English and forms the basis of scatology and a host of related technical terms. The most likely common word for "****" in Proto-Indo-European would however probably be *kakka, (cf. Latin caca, Anglo Saxon cac, German kacke, kacken ["poo, to poo"], Old Irish cac ["dung"], and Greek kakas ["bad"]).

Folk and/or Fake etymology
Occasionally, individuals enjoy making up pretend etymologies for **** as a joke [see Fake etymology]. Falsehoods are often propagated via schoolyards, barrooms, and the Internet regarding the etymology of the word. A recent example is a fanciful story about manure being shipped across the sea, leading in some way to the acronym, "Ship High In Transit". [1] This "history" traces to an April 1999 post on the Usenet newsgroup, rec.humor.

(emphasis mine)

There are hundreds of words and sayings that have nautical origins. This just isn't one of them. It is, however, an illustration of the imagination, humor and creativity of human beings.
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Old 20-11-2005, 10:47   #10
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How About Something Easier?

What is the origin of the saying "to be taken aback," as in "Charlie was taken aback by the news of the death of his brother."
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Old 20-11-2005, 12:10   #11
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to be taken aback
To be astounded, taken by surprise. From the sailing-ship term aback, when the sails press against the mast and progress is suddenly stayed.
[Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, per Jill Dillon (J_Dillon@msn.com)]
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Old 20-11-2005, 13:13   #12
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Re: Folk Etymologies Are Fun, But…

Quote:
CaptainJeff once whispered in the wind:
I thought I remembered **** having an Anglo Saxon origin, so dug this up—
Alan asked for a story, not the truth!

After all, we are chewing the fat here!

It looks like I got "caught with my pants down"
.................................................. _/)
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Old 20-11-2005, 15:26   #13
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Too easy for this bunch - 3 square meals a day ?
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Old 20-11-2005, 17:27   #14
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Lar, I've heard that one, and I think it has something to do with meals being served on square planks of wood.

We oughta set a rule: no looking up the answer immediately. Let the orig. poster come back with the answer…
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Old 20-11-2005, 17:42   #15
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Plated Matter

"I think in originates from the same source as a 'Square Meal': this expression grew out of the British Naval custom of serving meals on square wooden plates way back before the good old USA was the good old USA. I'll see if I can find an authoritative reference. "

From another site?
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