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second hand

R

rg

Someone just asked me why the third hand on a watch is called the second hand. Any comments?
 
R

rg

Someone just asked me why the third hand on a watch is called the second hand. Any comments?
 

Bill B

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It is called the second hand because it counts the seconds off. The second hand is located on the 4 th wheel pinion.
 

Tom McIntyre

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Who says it is the third hand? It could be the first hand and is if you count from the high frequency end.

The serious answer is that it indicates seconds, of course. :) It might properly be called the seconds hand and often is called that. However, second hand seems to be a simplification that is often used.

I think this is a common phenomenon in English with words continually being shortened.
 

4thdimension

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For a classic oxymoron experience, go to your supply house and ask for a "new second hand".
-Cort
 

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