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Thursday word: coulter

coulter (UK) or colter (US) (KOHL-ter) - n., a blade or sharp disc attached to the beam of a plow, used to cut the ground ahead of the plowshare.


An advance in agricultural technology that increased farm production in the middle ages -- the coulter loosens the earth, making it easier to turn the furrow with the plow proper.


Thanks Wikimedia Commons

The original coulter was the blade (#4 in the diagram) -- discs started to be used around 1900. From Middle English colter or culter, from Old English culter and Old French coltre, both from Latin culter, plowshare/knife. Spencer mentions in The Faerie Queene:

"a furrow ... which my coulter hath not cleft"

---L.

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