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gene heskett gheskett at wdtv.com
Fri Jul 15 14:56:32 BST 2011

On Friday, July 15, 2011 09:43:31 AM Anne Wilson did opine:

> On Friday 15 Jul 2011 00:37:58 Alex Schuster wrote:
> > dict.leo.org suggests [screw] wrench or spanner. Or 'monkey wrench'
> > for 'englischer Schraubenschl´┐Żssel'. Ah, 'der Engl´┐Żnder'! An
> > adjustable wrench. Oh, and there even is 'crescent wrench' for 'Swiss
> > spanner'.
> I love these essays into language comparisons :-)  Although all English
> recognise the word "wrench", "spanner" is the more commonly used here.
> OTOH, "monkey wrench" I associate with heavy-duty contexts, such as
> motor- engineering.  Then there's that thing that I know of as an
> "adjustable spanner" - apparently the English spanner to you LOL
> Anne

Chuckle.  That adjustable spanner, is a "Crescent Wrench" here in the US, 
because the Crescent people owned the long since expired patent, and it has 
been the generic term for such a tool for at least 70 years that I know of.

Similarly, the "monkey wrench" we use here, represents a wrench/spanner 
that was also adjustable by a similar means, but the forces against the 
adjuster were essentially direct, where the 'Crescent' version used jaw 
motion wedging friction to aid the adjuster in holding position much 
better.  The end result is that I can buy generic crescent wrenches almost 
anyplace, but a genuine monkey wrench will likely be sold at an estate 
auction as its likely both in excess of 100 years old, and worth 25x what 
it cost new just as an antique.  They are also commonly called knuckle 
busters on this side of the pond, because they were very good at it.

Trivia, never played the game myself. ;-)

Cheers, gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Promise her anything, but give her Exxon unleaded.
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