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History of Maritime

How did a clipper ship get its name?

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Answered 2016-02-24 09:12:09

The term clipper originally applied to a fast horse and most likely derives from the term clip meaning "speed", as in "going at a good clip". The Oxford English Dictionarysays its earliest quotation in English is from 1830. Cutler reports the first newspaper appearance was in 1835, and by then the term was apparently familiar. Clipper bows were distinctively narrow and heavily raked forward, which allowed them to rapidly clip through the waves.

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