The Shit Hit The Fan.👅 Where did come from?

Jan Sebastian 🖐👩‍🦰
5 min readApr 10, 2022

When I think about “shit literally hitting a fan,” GROSS! Who said this first?

I wanted to why we say it. Where did this idiom come from? Who said it first, and why? — Today we will know!

A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English lists the phrase as Canadian, circa 1930.

The true origins of the expression “shit hit the fan” are largely undetermined, though some sources suggest that Canada is to blame — it might have come from the particularly picturesque Canadian military language of the early twentieth century. Another suggestion is that the idiom is descended from an old joke.

Here’s the old joke, and by the way,this gives me a great visiual picture and a keen sence the smell in some crazy bar situation inthe 1930's. Totally sound like a classic ass drunk tale to me. Funny stuff, so here is the story:

Back in the west, when bars first had overhead fans installed, to cool the customers, a man rushed in through the swinging doors up to the bar and said he was desperate for a dump and where was the ‘convenience’. ‘It’s upstairs, second door on the right’, replied the bartender.

So the man rushed upstairs, but in his haste opened the door on the left, which was a completely dark room. It was too late to begin to search, so he undid his trousers, spotted a knot-hole in the pine floor, through which some light shone, and relieved himself.

When he went back downstairs, the place was in chaos: chairs and tables overturned, cards scattered, several bodies on the floor, the large mirror behind the bar smashed… he went over to one of the bodies, which was twitching, and leaned over. ‘What happened?’

The prostrate customer opened an eye and regarded him, then spoke:

‘There you stand, all spic and span; where were you when the shit hit the fan?’

So now we know! I feel better. I hope you do too, Now every time someone says, “The shit hit the fan” my visual will be, some drunk guy upstairs from a bar who can’t find the can…



Jan Sebastian 🖐👩‍🦰

I had a stroke so I can’t walk or talk, but I can write! Just a new chapter in life. I love the journey…..By me a cup of coffee