One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A rod pivoted at one end so that the other end can move in a circle or an arc of a circle, used especially as one of a pair in the parallel motion of a steam engine.
2(In the suspension of a car or other four-wheeled vehicle) either of a pair of arms attached to the axle and pivoting on the frame, preventing lateral movement of the axle.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.
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