A long-handled tool used for levering and maneuvering logs. The business end has a pivoting hooked metal arm, and is tipped with a metal spike.
Compare to cant hook, which has the same pivoting arm, but a blunt or toothed end cap in place of the metal spike.
Cant hooks came first, and are used in sawmills; the peavey was specifically invented for driving logs on rivers.
More details here. It looks like some sort of hinged medieval polearm.
Origin: named after its American inventor, Joseph Peavey, in 1858.
I first ran across the word in Noel Perrin's Second Person Rural: More Essays of a Sometime Farmer. I've wanted one ever since.
Beware the overgrown cucurbit:
You cannot donate its log-like fruit
To friend or foe.
And so, you must do with it what you can.
And when moving large zucchini,
Use a cant hook and not a peavey:
Its verdant casing should stay intact,
Lest it dry and shrivel on the fire,
Instead it should stay juicy and fat,
For when grilled and on a hot dog bun,
With many fixings heaped upon,
It earns its title
As the sausage of the lawn.
(Hey, lots of people write poems about zucchini....)
I will attempt to post something coherent next Sunday, but it will be somewhere between hour 40 and hour 54 of the Stevens Point trivia contest.