Where does the expression, " I haven't a pot to piss in " come from ?
In medieval London, people did not have indoor plumbing. It was common to use a chamber pot as an indoor toilet. The chamber pot could then be dumped out a window into the street gutter below. A person who did not have a "pot to piss in" was poor indeed.
In medieval times the word "piss" was not considered at all vulgar. It was not until Victorian England that words such as piss were deemed vulgar. Even today phrases like "pot to piss in" and "Full of Piss and Vinegar" are somehow considered to be generally acceptable and only moderately crude.
Chamber pots or substitues for indoor plumbing are still used the some Amish and other people today. Because people used to piss in pots and then take it and pour the contents outside, usually in the gutter.
Not having a pissing pot meant you were pretty bad off because you didn't even have a means to relieve yourself properly.
The pot represents a chamber pot which people kept in their homes before indoor plumbing was invented
It means you don't have your own place to live and you are dependent on someone else. The full expression is "I don't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of". More Related Questions & Answers...