why is a washer called a washer

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Sir. Brilliance, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Sir. Brilliance Registered Senior Member

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    Ok I know this is a stupid question but it is for extra credit. Any the washer i am talking about is not the washer like for cleaning clothing but the washer like that you use with screws and has a hole in it and such. Any info would greatly be aprreciated.
     
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  3. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    if you are talking about the viborating kind it's primary purpose is to remove burrs. you put a tiny amount of detergent in with the rocks and water to remove grease and oil, the rocks of course remove the burrs.
     
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  5. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

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    In other words: no idea.

    - N
     
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  7. domesticated om Stickler for details Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah- I can see where you're coming from in asking this question. Alot of tool/machanical oriented stuff has a name that indicates its purpose (IE- screw, bolt, hinge, driver, etc). Maybe it's one of those word mutations that was originally either a non-english, or slang term. Of course, I'm just speculating........ someone is bound to know the truth
     
  8. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    i thought he was talking about a machinists parts washer
    interesting question.
     
  9. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    there are thousands of words in English, no every word must have a reason behind.
     
  10. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    every effect has a cause.

    there are other kinds of washers besides flat metal ones, lock washer, spider washer.
    washer might be a kind of shim.
     
  11. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    there are no stupid questions here.
    the only stupid questions come from people who like to stir the sauce.
     
  12. nameless Registered Senior Member

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    The dike had a hole in it and was leaking. We sent a woman to go get help. We couldn't get close to the dike so I shot an arrow into the hole, to plug it. Water still leaked so I shot another. Just at that moment, the woman that was going for help ran by and was transfixed by the arrow against the dike. The water no longer leaked, and when reasoned why, it was determined that it 'was her' against the hole that kept the water in. When the story was told for the point, 'was her' was eventually shortened to 'washer'.
    <ducks>
     
  13. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    why a pussy cat is called pussy cat?
    why do we refer the private part of women as pussy?
     
  14. nameless Registered Senior Member

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    Both furry and relate to 'tuna'?
    **ducks and covers head**
    I can make em both purrrrrr!
     
  15. valich Registered Senior Member

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    It's a good question, and I suspect the following:

    The word "washer" when used as a noun, means "1. a person or device that washes. 2 a small flat ring fixed between a nut and bolt to spread the pressure or between two joining surfaces to act as a spacer or seal or gasket." Probably a seal against water.

    I think the original meaning of the word washer was used to refer to a flat ring used to seal against water. This would then lead to the following etymology origins: Middle English "washen" from Old English "wascan." And Old High German word ""waskan" to wash. All perhaps related to the Old English word "waeter" water. Originally from "wed" in Indo-European Roots.

    Also, an alternative etymology source:

    "a flat ring for sealing joints or holding nuts," 1346, generally considered an agent noun of wash (q.v.), but the sense connection is difficult, and the noun may derive instead from the ancestor of Fr. vis "screw, vise."

    "wash: O.E. (Old English) wascan, wæscan, from Pre Germanic "watskanan", Old Norse vaska, Middle Dutch "wasscen," Dutch "wassen," German "waschen", from stem "wat-," the source of water.
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=wash&searchmode=none
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Check the website TakeOurWord.com ... they have tracked down an incredible number of elusive etymologies. Well written, it always makes the stuff interesting and even humorous. They bust a lot of etymological myths, e.g. "posh" is not an abbreviation for "Port Out, Starboard Home," the cabins that rich people would want on cruise ships.
     
  17. valich Registered Senior Member

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    That's just a query search-type website, They say if you don't know the etymology, to send them an email. So I did!
     
  18. valich Registered Senior Member

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    Well, as I said, I sent them an email. I'm not bragging, but I think I did a lot beter than they. This is their reply (now posted on the web). Address underneath:

    "From James:
    It sounds too simple to need research, but I have not yet found the origin of the word washer meaning "the disc with a hole punched in it and placed under nuts for various reasons like friction spread". I have repeatedly told my family that I want a copy of the OED but the cheap s*ds just buy me books and pullovers instead.

    The nerve of 'em! Well, we'll take care of you, James. We'll try, anyhow. We're afraid you might be a bit disappointed with the etymology of washer "metal disc".

    While etymologists aren't certain, they lean toward deriving the word from washer "a person or thing that washes". You see, that word attained several different meanings, from "a person who washes" to "an apparatus for washing" to "the cock or outlet valve of a water-supplying pipe". It is the latter meaning which may be related to the "disc" meaning. However, there is no recorded path of meaning change to support this. Interestingly, the "disc" usage dates from the mid-14th century! Even more interesting is the fact that washer "one who washes" isn't recorded before the 15th century, though a hypothetical Old English form wæscere has been suggested."
    http://www.takeourword.com/Issue094.html
     
  19. Shawn Green Registered Member

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    I have a theory. With all the different types more than likely being more modern, i.e. lock washer, star washer etc. there is also a cut washer. It is the type with a larger outside diameter designed to allow the bolt to be cut without damaging the equipment surface. Most commonly with a torch. Thusly, the metal is "washed away" with the force of the oxygen/acetylene as it melts. Perhaps this is where the term washer is derived.
     
  20. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Easy to imaging that lead may have been one of the first (metallic) components -at least in plumbing.

    There was a website I recall that gave first instances of words . That might be a help here perhaps if I could remember what it traded under

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  21. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

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    One source refers to wash in the sense of a thin covering, as in whitewash. A thin metal covering...
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Dictionary.com and Wikipedia both threw up their hands in failure to discern the origin of "washer" as a round, flat item of hardware.

    The first instance of the use of the word in writing was in 1346. It wasn't defined in a dictionary until 1611.
     
  23. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    thanks
     

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