How Did the Squeegee Get Its Name, What Does It Mean, and Where Did the Squeegee Come From?

A squeegee brings to mind either spring cleaning or an annoying panhandler at a traffic light.

The word probably had an equally unpleasant effect on the sailors who gave the scraping instrument its name.

Squeege was an eighteenth-century alteration of squeeze or press and was the inspiration for the name of a tool used for scraping the decks of ships.

In Moby Dick, American author Herman Melville (1819-1891) called the tool a “squilgee,” but other sources indicate that squeegee was a nautical term for the instrument as early as 1844.

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