wishbone

[wish-bohn]
noun
1.
a forked bone, formed by the fusion of the two clavicles, in front of the breastbone in most birds; furcula.
2.
Football. an offensive formation in which the fullback is positioned directly behind the quarterback and the two halfbacks are positioned farther behind and to the left and right, respectively.

Origin:
1850–55, Americanism; wish + bone; so called from the custom of pulling the furcula of a cooked fowl apart until it breaks, the person holding the longer (sometimes shorter) piece being granted a wish

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World English Dictionary
wishbone (ˈwɪʃˌbəʊn)
 
n
the V-shaped bone above the breastbone in most birds consisting of the fused clavicles; furcula
 
[C17: from the custom of two people breaking apart the bone after eating: the person with the longer part makes a wish]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

wishbone
1860, from wish + bone, so called from the custom of making a wish while pulling the bone in two with another person. The wishbone breaking custom dates to the early 17c., when the bone was a merrythought.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
wishbone   (wĭsh'bōn')  Pronunciation Key 
The forked bone in front of the breastbone in most birds, consisting of the two collarbones partly fused together. It serves as a spring, capturing some of the energy during the downward stroke of the wings for release on the upward stroke.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Its shoulders, wishbone and large sternum resembled those of modern birds.
Calhoun plays right halfback in a wishbone, but he gets the football a lot of times in that offense.
On the right is a drawing of the deformation of the wishbone.
If you do this with a wishbone, you should be able to tie a knot in it at the end of the experiment.
Image for wishbone
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