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Old 24-08-2014, 21:00   #16
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Moreton Bay
Boat: US$4,550 of lead under a GRP hull with cutter rig
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Re: Advice on Windlass Needed

Originally Posted by Guy View Post
Those of us who are Mericans are supposed to call them "wildcats" for some reason.
First use I found in written English of "wildcat" for a shaped chain wheel was in 1844. "Wildcat" was common in US English in the 19th century for other uses, including: wild cat oil drilling (wild-catter, wild catting), wild cat banks, wild cat whisky, and wild cats (both people and animals).

But the core is the use of "cat", used since at least 1626 as a qualifier for things and activities associated with an anchor, stowing an anchor, and recovering an anchor, e.g.

cathead, catshead, catshole (1626)

cat and fish (an anchor) (1808)

cat block (1769)
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