One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounEnglish Regional, Cornwall
A type of hoist in which the descent of a container of water attached to a rope passing over a drum causes the drum to turn and to raise a container at the other end of the rope; also called water whimsey.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in William Borlase (1696–1772), antiquary and naturalist. From water + whim.
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