Where did "piss poor" come from? If you're young and hip, this is still interesting. Us older people need to learn something new every day...Just to keep the grey matter tuned up. Where did "Piss Poor" come from? Interesting story. They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery... If you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor". But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot... They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.