Etymology
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Kanaka (n.)
U.S. nautical word for "a Hawaiian," 1840, from Hawaiian kanaka "man" (cognate with Samoan tangata). In Australia, "native of the South Sea islands" working on sugar plantations, etc.
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bitt (n.)
nautical, "strong post to which cables are made fast" (usually in plural, bitts), 1590s, of uncertain origin; compare Old Norse biti "crossbeam." Probably somehow related to bit (n.1).
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clinch (n.)

1620s, "method of fastening ropes," nautical, from clinch (v.). Also compare clench (n.). Meaning "a fastening by bending a driven nail" is from 1650s. In pugilism, "grappling at close quarters," from 1875.

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skylark (v.)
"to frolic or play," 1809, originally nautical, in reference to "wanton play about the rigging, and tops," probably from skylark (n.), influenced by (or from) lark (n.2). Related: Skylarked; skylarking.
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lash (v.2)

"to tie or bind," as with rope or cord, 1620s, originally nautical, from French lachier, from Old French lacier "to lace on, fasten with laces; entrap, ensnare" (see lace (v.)). Related: Lashed; lashing.

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afoul (adv.)
1809, originally nautical, "in a state of collision or entanglement," from a- (1) + foul (adj.). From 1833 in general sense of "in violent or hostile conflict," mainly in phrases such as run afoul of.
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headway (n.)
c. 1300, "main road, highway," from Old English heafodweg; see head (adj.) + way (n.). Sense of "motion forward" first attested 1748, short for ahead-way; ultimately nautical (compare leeway).
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decommission (v.)

"to take (something) out of active service," 1922, originally in reference to warships, from de- + commission (v.) in the nautical sense of "be transferred from the naval yard and placed in the command of an officer." Related: Decommissioned; decommissioning.

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hank (n.)
late 13c., "a loop of rope" (in nautical use), probably from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse hönk "a hank, coil," hanki "a clasp (of a chest);" ultimately related to hang (v.). From 1550s as a length of yarn or thread.
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camber (n.)
"convexity on an upper surface," 1610s, nautical term, from Old French cambre, chambre "bent," from Latin camurum (nominative camur) "crooked, arched;" related to camera. As a verb, "become slightly arched," from 1620s. Related: Cambered; cambering.
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