Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Word of the day: gantry

The word of the day is gantry:

  1. a framework spanning a railroad track or tracks for displaying signals.
  2. any of various spanning frameworks, as a bridgelike portion of certain cranes.
  3. Rocketry. a frame consisting of scaffolds on various levels used to erect vertically launched rockets and spacecraft.
  4. a framelike stand for supporting a barrel or cask.
1574, originally, "four-footed stand for a barrel," probably from O.N.Fr. gantier, from O.Fr. chantier, from L. cantherius "rafter, frame," from Gk. kanthelios "pack ass," so called from the framework placed on its back, from kanthelion "rafter," of unknown origin.


"For example, the weird dream about a lead doughnut on a mile-high gantry, which in the right mind would have been the catalyst for the invention of repressed-gravitational electricity generation (a cheap and inexhaustible and totally non-polluting form of power which the world in question had been seeking for centuries, and for the lack of which it was plunged into a terrible and pointless war) was in fact had by a small and bewildered duck."

 - Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

No comments: