[Ads-l] "come-a-long", engineer's jargon (UNCLASSIFIED)

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon May 4 19:53:17 UTC 2015


FWIW, I agree. I've heard the term "come-along" from blue collar people, 
and that first image seems about right. BB

> Mullins, Bill CIV (US) <mailto:william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL>
> May 4, 2015 at 10:11 AM
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Mullins, Bill CIV (US)"<william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL>
> Subject:      Re: "come-a-long", engineer's jargon (UNCLASSIFIED)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE
>
> I don't think of it particularly as "engineering jargon" (I'm an engineer b=
> y trade); just the name of the tool.  I see them more commonly with steel c=
> ables than chains, although not exclusively.
>
> There are (at least) two different tools which are called come alongs.
>
> 1.  One is an winch with an eye for attaching one cable, and wrapped around=
>   the winch is another relatively short piece of cable with an eye at the wo=
> rking end.  The winch is ratcheted and pulls the working end so that the tw=
> o eyes get closer and closer together.
>
>     http://www.americantrails.org/i/tools/comealong.jpg
>
> This one is more common, and can be bought at Harbor Freight, Home Depot, e=
> tc.
>
> 2.  Another is simply a gripping/clamping device, which is attached externa=
> lly to a cable. When tension is applied, the grip gets tighter and tighter.=
>    It is a more specialized tool and is not as commonly available.
>
>   http://www.cbsproducts.com/images/D-1628.jpg
>
> _San Bernardino County [CA] Sun_ 21 Dec 1946 p 17 col 7 [classified ad]
> "ROTARY jackhammer, paint spray outfit, acetylene welder, 3/4-ton come-alon=
> g hoist, gasoline engine."
>
>
> There is a style of handcuffs/restraint devices called "come alongs":
>
> http://www.cyberattic.com/stores/ericfinds/items/1187097/item1187097cyberat=
> tic.html
>
>
> _Freeport [IL] Journal-Standard_ 22 Apr 1886 p 4 col 4
> "Officer Piersol reached the spot as Jake got his man up, and after the com=
> e-a-longs were put on his wrists, he was escorted between the two officers =
> to the station, where he passed the night."
>
> I've also seen the term used in reference to a football play.
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
>> Behalf Of George Thompson
>> Sent: Monday, May 04, 2015 9:50 AM
>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>> Subject: "come-a-long", engineer's jargon
>> =20
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header ---------------
>> --------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       George Thompson<george.thompson at NYU.EDU>
>> Subject:      "come-a-long", engineer's jargon
>> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> --------
>> =20
>>  From an article in today's NYTimes on a malfunctioning footbridge that
>> is undergoing repair.
>> =20
>> "Last week, through a chain-link fence that prevents access to the
>> bridge, one could see an elaborate system of chains that crisscrosses
>> its eight-foot-wide deck. In the middle of each chain was a hand-
>> operated winch with a ratchet, known in engineering parlance as a
>> =3DE2=3D80=3D9Ccome-a-long,=3DE2=3D =3D80=3D9D which is used to pull obje=
> cts
>> together."
>> =20
>> This term seem not to be in the OED.
>> =20
>> NY Times, May 4, 2015, section A, p. 19, col. 1 (story "Slow Rebound
>> for a Bridge Whose Bounce Became Worse" starts on p. 15)
>> =20
>> GAT
>> =20
>> --=3D20
>> George A. Thompson
>> The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
>> Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
>> Univ. Pr., 1998..
>> =20
>

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