Sailor Speak of the Week – Propeller

Definition

Noun

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

Origin

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

Comments

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).

References

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

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