BOW-SPRIT

bowsprit

[bou-sprit, boh-]
noun Nautical.
a spar projecting from the upper end of the bow of a sailing vessel, for holding the tacks of various jibs or stays and often supporting a jib boom.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English bouspret < Middle Low German bōchspret (cognate with Dutch boegsprit) (bōch bow3 + spret pole, cognate with Old English sprēot)

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World English Dictionary
bowsprit (ˈbəʊsprɪt)
 
n
nautical a spar projecting from the bow of a vessel, esp a sailing vessel, used to carry the headstay as far forward as possible
 
[C13: from Middle Low German bōchsprēt, from bōchbow³ + sprēt pole]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bowsprit
"spar extending from the bow of a ship," late 13c., probably from M.L.G. bochspret, from boch "bow of a ship" (see bow (n.2)) + spret "pole" (cf. O.E. spreot "pole," Du. spriet "spear;" see sprit). Fr. beaupre is a Du. loan word.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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