Etymology of Bullshit

The etymology of the word bullshit (misleading nonsense) seems as messy as bullshit. Unlike what’s indicated in etymology sources, bullshit likely stems from hunting trips in the western United States in the 19th century. Hunters trailed their game by following a trail of feces; examining temperature, moistness, texture and design of  feces to determine how recently passed and which animals they were tracking. What appeared as a warm pile of bison shit might make their game seem near, until they realized it was shit from the bull from a nearby farm. That is, the bison shit was not what it appeared to be; it was bullshit. Likewise, hunters going around in circles would soon come upon their own horses’ feces; horseshit, also meaning nonsense.

While clever, academic etymologists might view the foregoing etymology of bullshit as bullshit.