Wench vs winch

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A wench is a buxom young lady or woman, usually one who works as a barmaid, servant girl or prostitute. Wench is an archaic term, when it is used today it is used facetiously. Wench may also be used as a verb to mean keeping company with prostitutes. Related words are wenches, wenched, wenching, wencher. Wench comes from the Old English word wencel, which is related to wancol, meaning unsteady, fickle, weak.

A winch is a machine that consists of a rope or cable that winds around a rotating drum, used to lift or drag things. A winch may be operated by hand cranking or motorized cranking. The word winch may be used as a noun or a verb, related words are winches, winched, winching, wincher. Winch comes from the Old English word wince, which means winch or pulley.


A wench and her knight saved the day at a renaissance festival in Colorado, when a man attempted to make off with a performer’s sword. (The Daily Mail)

For a number of years, Suzann Roberts-Holshouser has been entertaining the St George’s crowds with her role as the “nagging, gossiping wench” in a popular historical re-enactment. (The Royal Gazette)

The irony is that Jade Goody could be a character from that book, a good-hearted serving wench, generous with her mutton pies. (The Guardian)

A review is being carried out by the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) following reports of a “winching incident” during the rescue of a 15-year-old girl near Hook Head on Sunday afternoon. (The Irish Times)

A fire service spokesman said: “On arrival the crews located the horse and got to work with strops and a winch.” (The Western Morning News)

I told him he could go ahead and let the tension off the winch, and hand over his driver’s license and registration since we would be here awhile doing paperwork. (Louisiana Sportsman Magazine)