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Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Carabiner on 11/02/2009 04:38:42 MST Print View

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.


Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Carabiner aka biner on 11/02/2009 10:41:51 MST Print View

Oddly enough most climbers (myself included) call them 'biners'.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Carabiners on 11/02/2009 10:44:11 MST Print View

Language is a funny thing. Most UK climbers call them 'crabs'. :)

Dave .
(Ramapo) - F
Crabs on 11/02/2009 10:47:16 MST Print View

Yeah, but UK climbing lingo is almost an entirely different language. Rap = abseil. Layback = layaway. Etc.

And don't get me started on the system you use to rate climbs! ;)

Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
Re: Carabiner on 11/02/2009 10:59:41 MST Print View

It's an interesting word. I'd always heard that it was from the Italian carabinieri (sp?)who were Italian military police who use the eponymous item to clip their rifles to their web gear, probably so they had their hands free to direct traffic. Climbers started using it later.

A similar item used in maritime settings is usually referred to as a "snap link."

As for the relationship between the climbing hardware and the plastic bandanna clip, think of it as the relationship between a German Shepard and a chihuahua, both dogs, just very different dogs.

YDS all the way.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Carabiner on 11/02/2009 11:12:33 MST Print View

"YDS all the way."

The other day I was trying to explain grades to some kids I'm teaching to climb.

They were completely dumbfounded about the correlation between the V scale and YDS...

"Why not just use the same system?" was the question every one of them posed immediately.