crutch

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crutch

1. Brit another word for crotch
2. Nautical
a. a forked support for a boom or oar, etc.
b. a brace for reinforcing the frames at the stern of a wooden vessel
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

crutch, cruck

One of a pair of naturally curved timbers that rise from the outer walls to support the ridge beam, each crutch being called a blade, 4; joined at the top and connected by one or two tie beams, the resulting arched frame forming the unit in the framework of old English houses or farm buildings; pairs of crutches were placed at approximately equal intervals.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.