wingnut

wing nut

noun
a nut having two flat, widely projecting pieces such that it can be readily tightened with the thumb and forefinger.
Also, wingnut.
Also called butterfly nut, thumbnut.


Origin:
1895–1900

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
wing nut
 
n
Also called: butterfly nut a threaded nut tightened by hand by means of two flat lugs or wings projecting from the central body

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

wingnut
"nut with flared sides for turning with the thumb and forefinger;" so called for its shape. Meaning "weird person" recorded by 1989, probably not from the literal sense but from the secondary sense of nut, influenced perhaps by slang senses of
wing in wing-ding "wild party," originally "fit, spasm" (1937). An earlier, British, sense of wingnut was "person with large, protruding ears" (1986).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

wingnut

(genus Pterocarya), any of about six species of Asian trees of the walnut family (Juglandaceae). They often are 30 m (about 100 feet) tall and bear winged, edible, one-seeded nuts. One species, P. stenoptera, is planted as an ornamental. The wood of some species is used in cabinetmaking.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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