Sailor Speak of the Week – Propeller



  • AKA a screw.
  • Pretty self-explanatory. That spinning thing that propels a vessel through the water.


19th century. From Latin, propellere, meaning to drive forward.


There are many different kinds of propellers with different propulsive properties. Interestingly, the reason they are often referred to as screws, is because early ship propellers resembled screws (i.e. those things you buy at the hardware store).


Rogers, J.G. (1985). Origins of Sea Terms. Mystic, CT: Mystic Seaport Museum.

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