Steaming – i.e. extremely drunk (e.g. ‘Shouldn’t have mixed my drinks, I was steamin’ when I got home’) – originates in Scotland, where legislation in the 1850s meant the only way to enjoy a legal drink on a Sunday was as a traveller; hence the speedy formation of steamship operators offering convenient ‘booze cruises’ along the Clyde. Inevitably, some of these bygone travellers returned to port ‘steamin’’ and in need of a wee; hence, the largest urinal in Scotland is at the pier at Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. Yes, drinking was a largely male preserve back then, but I’m told facilities for women haven’t exactly come on in leaps and bounds in the interim.
Source: BBC Timeshift