What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[keel-hawl] /ˈkilˌhɔl/
verb (used with object)
Nautical. to haul (an offender) under the bottom of a ship and up on the other side as a punishment.
to rebuke severely.
Also, keelhale
[keel-heyl] /ˈkil heɪl/ (Show IPA)
Also called keeldrag
[keel-drag] /ˈkilˌdræg/ (Show IPA),
[keel-reyk] /ˈkilˌreɪk/ (Show IPA)
Origin of keelhaul
1660-70; < Dutch kielhalen. See keel1, haul Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for keelhaul
  • We will not keelhaul you, but that's a good warning to you to wrap up.
British Dictionary definitions for keelhaul


verb (transitive)
to drag (a person) by a rope from one side of a vessel to the other through the water under the keel
to rebuke harshly
Word Origin
C17: from Dutch kielhalen; see keel1, haul
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for keelhaul

1660s (the experience itself is described from 1620s), from Dutch kielhalen, literally "to haul under the keel," an old punishment. See keel (n.) + haul (v.). Related: Keelhauled. German kielholen, Danish kjølhale, Swedish kölhala also are from Dutch.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for keelhaul

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for keelhaul

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for keelhaul