Online Encyclopedia

PADDLE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 443 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PADDLE. (1) A verb, meaning to splash, dabble or play about in water with the feet or hands. (2) A species of oar, with a broad flat blade and short handle, used without a rowlock for propelling canoes or other lightly-built craft (see CANOE). (3) A small spade-like implement, apparently first used to clear a ploughshare from clods of earth. The verb seems to be a frequentative form of "pad," to walk, cognate with "path," or of "pat," to strike gently, an onomatopoeic word; it may have been influenced by the Fr. patrouiller, in much the same sense. The verb may have given rise to "paddle," an oar, an easy transitionin sense; but the New English Dictionary identifies this with the word for a small spade, which occurs earlier than the verb, and seems to have no connexion in sense with it. The implement was known in the 17th and 18th centuries also as " spaddle," a diminutive of " spade," but " paddle " occurs in this sense as early as 1407. The term " paddle " has been applied to many objects and implements resembling the oar in its broad-bladed end: e.g. a shovel used in mixing materials in glass-making, in brick-making, &c., and also to the float-boards in the paddle-wheel of a steamboat or the wheel of a water-mill.
End of Article: PADDLE
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