One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A timber beam of small cross section.
joist, purlin, girder, spar, support, strut, stay, brace, batten, transom, lintel, stringer, baulk, board, timber, plank, lath, rafterView synonyms
- ‘In Britain and America, material was available in timber form, as plank, deals, board, and scantling.’
- ‘She fully conforms to all the stringent constructional requirements of this class, including 6 watertight compartments, strong scantlings and a high level of stability.’
- 1.1 The size to which a piece of timber or stone is measured and cut.
- ‘Its crucks - nine full pairs and a pair at each end cut off halfway to form the half-hipped roof - are 10 m. long, with a scantling of 0.53 m. and a span of 10.2 m.’
2often scantlingsA set of standard dimensions for parts of a structure, especially in shipbuilding.
- ‘Since German engineers standardized scantlings for testing to about eight inches long, Fernow decried in particular British engineers' preferences for full-sized generic timbers.’
- ‘Although not built to any specific standard, other than Hinckley's own, that I know of, the scantlings are impressive by anyone's standards.’
3archaic A specimen, sample, or small amount of something.sample, example, bit, snippet, illustration, demonstration, exemplification, instance, selection, representative pieceView synonyms
Early 16th century (denoting prescribed size, or a set of standard dimensions): alteration of obsolete scantillon (from Old French escantillon ‘sample’), by association with the suffix -ling.
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