2004-09-10

Way up high (A Norse Etymology)

Crow's nest

Most etymologists agree that this small lookout near the top of a ship's mast was inspired by the crow's haven atop a tree. Word expert Robert Hendrickson, however, thinks there is more to it than a nesting resemblance. He says the naval reference originated with ravens carried in cages aboard Norse vessels.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0908/p18s02-hfgn.html

I admit I thought the source of "crow's nest" was the resemblance between a birdnest and the "cage" atop a ship's masts. After the raven/Norse story, however, nevermore.

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