Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: winch.

winch. “Winch” (= a cranking device that helps pull or haul) is sometimes confused with “wench” (= a young woman, esp. one with lewd propensities). The results are truly bizarre — e.g.: o “By using a 1/4″ steel cable on the wench [read ‘winch’] and over the pulley, I was able to hoist up the logs and beams and maneuver them into place.” Dick Sellers, “I Built a Log Cabin from Scratch for Under $11,000,” Mother Earth News, Apr. 1993, at 34. o “He slips the rope into a hydraulic wench [read ‘winch’], which hoists the 60-pound, wood-slatted box to the surface.” Jerry Shriver, “Catching the Maine Attraction,” USA Today, 14 July 1995, at D5. Language-Change Index — “wench” misused for “winch”: Stage 1. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “It used to be said that if a home contained any books at all, the two you could depend on finding were the Bible and a dictionary.” Randolph Quirk, “Thinking of Words,” in The Linguist and the English Language 128, 137 (1974).
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