Rabbet or Rabbit

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 497 days ago 957 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2797 posts in 1875 days

497 days ago

I’ll bet a lot of woodworkers , myself included, refer to a rabbeted joint as a rabbited joint (pronounced rabbit, like the bunny with the floppy ears). I just learned that it is pronounced a rebate joint after checking it out on Wikipedia.

16 replies so far

View nwbusa's profile


1016 posts in 918 days

#1 posted 497 days ago

Rebate is the UK term. Rabbet generally used this side of the pond.

-- John, BC, Canada

View JoeinGa's profile


3169 posts in 639 days

#2 posted 497 days ago

I thought rebate was when you get money back :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View LoydMoore's profile


96 posts in 588 days

#3 posted 497 days ago

To early in the day for Jim Bean. I’ll get back to you later this evening after I’ve had a little mind clearing refreshment.

-- Loyd, San Angelo, TX

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2199 posts in 1790 days

#4 posted 497 days ago

Or is it “wabbit”?

/Elmer Fudd

-- jay,

View shipwright's profile


4919 posts in 1430 days

#5 posted 497 days ago

Rebate is the UK term. Rabbet generally used this side of the pond.

Not always, John. I live half and half in B.C. (summer) and AZ (winter) but I’m Canadian. I’ve never heard “rebate” south of the border but it’s not uncommon in Canada. I for one use it.

I’m actually sort of the perfect Canadian about it. I spell it “rebate” like the English, but I pronounce it “rabbet” like the Americans. ..... How Canadian, eh?

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View NiteWalker's profile


2709 posts in 1209 days

#6 posted 497 days ago

I learned it as “rabbet” in spelling and pronunciation, so that’s what I stick with.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Loren's profile


7425 posts in 2280 days

#7 posted 497 days ago

rabbet (n.) “rectangular groove cut in a piece of timber,” late 14c., from Old French rabbat “a recess in a wall,” literally “a beating down,” from rabattre “beat down, beat back”


View CharlieM1958's profile


15688 posts in 2850 days

#8 posted 497 days ago

Paul and John: IMO, you are both right. Rebate is the British term, so, since British spellings are common in Canada, it makes perfect sense that “rebate” would be used there.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View nwbusa's profile


1016 posts in 918 days

#9 posted 497 days ago

Lol… my wife was born in England, I was born in the States, and now we live in Canada. You should hear some of the “discussions” we have about proper spelling and pronunciation! :)

-- John, BC, Canada

View enurdat1's profile


100 posts in 878 days

#10 posted 497 days ago

Well, I’m down ~3 fingers of Eagle Rare and it’s still rabbit here

-- It is what it is...

View Dallas's profile


2869 posts in 1119 days

#11 posted 497 days ago

Then there is rarebit….... which is very tasty!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View runswithscissors's profile


907 posts in 657 days

#12 posted 497 days ago

But “rarebit” is supposedly American and “rabbit” (as in Welsh rabbit) is supposedly Brit. The explanation I heard was that the poor couldn’t eat real rabbit (critters belonged to the lord of the manor, you know), so they made a cheese dish and called it rabbit. Example of wishful thinking, I guess. Sort of like pretending that your cheap new tool is really “heavy duty” and “industrial.”

My mom always said “rarebit” and my dad always corrected her. I don’t think that issue was ever resolved in our family. But being poor, we did eat it fairly often. When we could afford it. Better than stone soup.

As for the rabbet, most of the boatbuilding books I have read (Billy Atkin, Howard Chapelle, etc.) called it . . . that.

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

611 posts in 1412 days

#13 posted 496 days ago

Then there is always Chas and Dave’s version to bring into the discussion:

In case you were wondering, the origin is from Cockney rhyming slang: “rabbit & pork” = “talk” where the second part eventually got left off. This happened quite often, and sometimes a new rhyming term got created from just the first bit, making it difficult to work out how the – shortened – second version had anything to do with what it came to mean.

As in this example:
Plaster = Plaster of Paris = Aris = Aristotle = bottle = bottle and glass = ar*e

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View LakeLover's profile


275 posts in 571 days

#14 posted 496 days ago

I think you are splitting Hares ? Hairs ? Heirs?

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3412 posts in 2592 days

#15 posted 496 days ago

If you do your rebates well, you’ll get a rebate (for the customer).
See my fingers making the bunny ears?
If the SPCA found out that you were puttin’ rabbits in a chest, you’d be in big trouble.
It took me a while to learn what the Brits were meaning when they were talking about a “gudgeon pin” on my Norton MC.
Go to your local auto parts store and ask for a gudgeon.


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