Posted by James Briggs on November 29, 2002
In Reply to: Re: Defecate, split off posted by R. Berg on November 29, 2002
: : : : I am doing an English assignment on shit, I have heard a history of it meaning: Ship High In Transit. Does anyone know of any other meaning? Please get back to me soon as my project is due on Monday Dec.2, 2002. Thank you!!!!
: : : There are folk derivations of various swearwords in the form of acronyms. For example, 'for unlawful carnal knowledge'. These are nonesense. Swearwords are just words like any others. For some reason, probably to do with coyness, some people prefer to invent spurious origins for them.
: : : According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word comes from the Old English:
: : : scite - dung and/or scitte - diarrhoa.
: : I wonder if there's any connection to the Greek skatos, also meaning dung?
: My OED traces it only as far back as Old Norse and Middle Low German. The American Heritage Dictionary, however, refers it to the Proto-Indo-European root "skei-," to cut, split, whose descendants include "science" and "conscious" (L. "scire," to know, from "to separate one thing from another," "discern") and "schedule" and "schizo-" (Gr. "skhizein," to split).
It's "Scheiße" in German - very similar indeed.