Gambol and Gimbal
Doug from Traverse City called in to ask about a word that he encountered
in his reading. After he had hung up, I realized that I didn’t know precisely
which word he intended. It was either gimballed or gambolled.
If it was gimballed, it
means fitted with a gimbal. Gimbal has a few meanings:
connecting links in machinery;
by means of which articles for use at sea (esp. the compass and the
chronometer) are suspended so as to keep a horizontal position. It usually
consists of a pair of rings moving on pivots in such a way as to have a free
motion in two directions at right angles, so as to counteract the motion of the
If, instead, he said gambolled, that is the past tense of the verb to gambol. A gambol (n.) is the energetic leap of a horse. It
is also an outburst of energetic and playful activity—not necessarily involving a
horse—or a general frolic or romp.
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