One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A light schooner-rigged sailing boat used chiefly in North America, typically broad-beamed with two masts. Compare "gulet". Now historical and rare.
2Canadian. A type of boat, originally a small schooner, in later use a flat-bottomed motor-driven vessel, used for carrying freight on the St Lawrence River in Quebec. Now chiefly historical.
Mid 18th century. From French goélette schooner, tern, probably alteration (with suffix substitution: see -ette) of goéland seabird, gull from Breton goelan, gwelan (now gouelan) gull.
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