Online Encyclopedia

SMACK

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 246 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SMACK, a general term for a small decked or half-decked vessel, sailing under various rigs and used principally for fishing. The word, like so many sea terms, was borrowed from the Dutch, where smak, earlier smacke, is the name of a coasting vessel; it is generally taken as a corruption of snack, cf. Swed. sndcka, Dan. snackke, a small sailing-vessel, and is to be referred to the root seen in " snake," " snail," the original meaning a gliding, creeping thing. " Smack," taste, and"smack," a smart sounding blow or slap, also used of the sound of the lips in kissing or tasting, must be distinguished. In the first case the word is in O.E. smaec and is common to Teutonic languages, cf. Dan. smag, Ger. schmecken, &c.; the second word is onomatopoeic, cf. " smash," and is also found in other Teutonic languages. It is not connected with the word meaning " taste," though no doubt confused owing to the sense of smacking the lips.
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