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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for keelson
Historical Examples
  • These are connected to the keelson, to the beams, and to each other by iron bands.

  • From truck to keelson there was no part of her imperfect; from stem to stern.

    The Wind Bloweth Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne
  • Saw out the mould carefully, and in the centre of the bottom cut a mortise two inches by one-half for the keelson to fit in.

    The Boy Craftsman A. Neely Hall
  • I was driving bolts in the hold, through the keelson, with Hays.

    My Bondage and My Freedom Frederick Douglass
  • Short movable pieces of plank; a part of the lining of a ship's floor, close to the keelson, and immediately above the limbers.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Under the boiler and engine there was only room for one keelson.

  • After they were set in place and firmly secured with copper tacks, a band was nailed to the keelson to form the keel.

    The Scientific American Boy A. Russell (Alexander Russell) Bond
  • Paul Joness answer came in a roar that was heard from truck to keelson.

    Pike & Cutlass George Gibbs
  • This having been carefully tacked to the keelson and gunwale, was oiled, and then painted.

  • The bitt for the bowsprit to be stepped in runs through the deck and into the keelson.

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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