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windlass - Word of the Day - Fri May 17, 2024




windlass - (noun) - a winch, esp one worked by a crank



Floyd used the windlass to take in his rope.


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Windlass type devices are used in modern ships to raise the anchors, whereas capstans were used in sailing ships. The main difference is windlasses are horizontal and capstans are vertical.

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Windlass comes from the Old Norse word 'vinda' (to wind) + 'ass' (a pole or beam).  The latter part is similar to the Gothic word 'ans' (a pole or pillar).  The word windlass was brought into Middle English as an alteration of the Anglo-Norman French word windas around 1400.   

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I shocked my pals when I used a windlass fashioned out of stuff in the back of his truck attached to an oak tree to pull his truck out of a muddy bog. Archimedes was wrong about using a lever and a fulcrum to move the world. You need a windlass too. Redneck engineering is fun and has gotten me out of so much trouble. I won't say what we were doing in that bog. 😇

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Don't confuse windlass with your friend that ate too many beans, a wind ass :puke: 

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