Is that really how one spells the word?
As an English-language nerd (and proud of it), I'm curious about its origins and developing use. Is that thing on my daughter's keychain a carabiner?
Wikipedia claims that it comes from 'Karabinerhaken,' meaning 'hook for a carbine' in German."
I suppose it's correct, but if it is, it's a term heavily laden with irony. I know they were originally used for climbing, but the term and the device have apparently gone through a long, strange trip from a rifle hook to the BPL plastic thing (at .2 oz) that I hook my bandana to my backpack with.