One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A square wooden or iron bar which takes the weight of a topmast stepped to a lower mast by being passed through holes in both masts.
- ‘The fid, therefore, must be withdrawn every time the top-mast is lowered.’
- ‘The topmast is held in place by a fid, or pin passing through the masthead and topmast.’
2A conical pin or spike used in splicing rope.
prong, barb, point, skewer, stake, spit, projectionView synonyms
- ‘The fid is hollow so that a strand can be led into it and fed through the rope.’
- ‘A tapered wooden spike called a 'fid' is the traditional splicing tool commonly used for splicing natural fiber twisted rope.’
Early 17th century: of unknown origin.
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