- A pulley.
15th century. From Old French, bloc, of the same meaning.
What landlubbers refer to as a pulley. i.e. A mechanical device used to aid in lifting heavy objects. Similar terms are also found in Early Dutch and German.
King, D., Hattendorf, J.B, & Estes, J.W. (1997). A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O’Brian’s Seafaring Tales (2nd Ed.). Owl Books.
Rogers, J.G. (1985). Origins of Sea Terms. Mystic Seaport.