weigh out (was: tare - verb)

James A. Landau <JJJRLandau@netscape.com> JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Fri Dec 30 17:37:25 UTC 2011

When you are loading cargo into an airplane (which has a fixed-size fuselage and a fixed weight limit) and you run out of room before you reach the weight limit, you are said to "cube out".  On the other hand, if you reach the weight limit before you run out of cargo space, you are said to "weigh out" (did you ever expect to find "way out" as a verb?) or "gross out" (a different meaning for "gross out", and intransitive yet).  I believe I have also seen "tare out" with the same meaning, but Google books, while it gave the other three terms,  did not supply any examples of this meaning of "tare out".

These terms don't have to apply to cargo aircraft, but aircraft are the most obvious examples of storage inflexible in both weight ("tare") and volume ("cube").

I suspect "cube out" was used in World War II with the C-87 transport plane, which was a B-24 Liberator bomber converted to cargo use.  Since the C-87 kept the bomber's narrow fuselage (bombs are high-weight-per-volume), it frequently cubed out with general cargo that had lower weight per volume.

Google Books also produced a different verb "to cube out" meaning a type of measurement of buildings, e.g. a search on "cubed out" returned entries for 1860, 1874, 1880, 1888, 1897, 1898, and 1906.

On an otherwise-forgotten recent TV program, I heard someone (probably a dancer or actor) use "choreography" to mean "a dance number to be performed " rather than "the design of a dance number".  Is this common?

Sign on an empty office building: "Subdivable"

Seen this morning: highway sign reading "FLAGGER AHEAD".

The relevant flagpeople were too bundled up to sex accurately, but judging by their bushy ponytails, both were female.

Mona the GPS struck again.  On Route 539 outside "Fordix" (actually McGuire Air Force Base) there was a sign on on eside of the road reading


and on the other side a sign saying DO NOT LITTER.

Also Mona managed to have us tailgated for ten miles by a bomb squad truck.

     - James A. Landau

Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list