from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The mariners' compass.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
I myself hung a dead one by a silk thread directly over a sea-compass, and I can declare it as a fact, that the bill was always turned towards the wind.
The discovery of fire, the art of making bread, of melting and preparing metals, of building houses, and the invention of the shuttle, are infinitely more beneficial to mankind than printing or the sea-compass: and yet these arts were invented by uncultivated, savage men.