ratchet (v.)
1852, from ratchet (n.). Transferred sense attested by 1977. Related: Ratcheted; ratcheting.
ratchet (n.)
1650s, rochet, from French rochet "bobbin, spindle," from Italian rocchetto "spool, ratchet," diminutive of rocca "distaff," possibly from a Germanic source (compare Old High German rocko "distaff," Old Norse rokkr), from Proto-Germanic *rukka-, from PIE root *ruk- "fabric, spun yarn." Compare rocket (n.2). Current spelling in English dates from 1721, influenced by synonymous ratch, which perhaps is borrowed from German Rätsche "ratchet."