"Not got a pot to piss in" or "piss poor" What's that all about? In the days when Tanneries used urine to tan the cow hides - the very poor collected the families urine in a communal pot and sold it to the tanneries. If they were very very poor - they wouldn't even have a pot to piss in!! Nice - thankfully we ve moved on from that era!!! Also if people were "dirt poor" It was because the couldn't afford stone flooring or rugs - instead they just had the ground inside their home.