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[kel-suh n, keel-] /ˈkɛl sən, ˈkil-/
noun, Nautical.
any of various fore-and-aft structural members lying above or parallel to the keel in the bottom of a hull.
Also, kelson.
Origin of keelson
1605-15; < Low German kielswin literally, keel swine (sense relation obscure) < Scandinavian; compare Dutch kolsvijn, Danish kølsvin, Swedish kölsvin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for keelson


/ˈkɛlsən; ˈkiːl-/
a longitudinal beam fastened to the keel of a vessel for strength and stiffness
Word Origin
C17: probably from Low German kielswin, keel swine, ultimately of Scandinavian origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for keelson

also kelson, 1620s, altered (by influence of keel (n.)) from Middle English kelsyng (late 13c.), which probably is of Scandinavian origin (cf. Swedish kölsvin, Danish and Norwegian kjølsvin, from root of Old Norse kjölr (see keel (n.)) + swin "swine," used of timber (see swine). Or else from a similar Low German source.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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