Rabbet or Rabbit

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 04-17-2013 08:38 PM 1357 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3445 posts in 2280 days

04-17-2013 08:38 PM

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


1017 posts in 1323 days

#1 posted 04-17-2013 08:41 PM

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

-- John, BC, Canada

View JoeinGa's profile


5433 posts in 1044 days

#2 posted 04-17-2013 08:48 PM

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

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

View LoydMoore's profile


100 posts in 993 days

#3 posted 04-17-2013 08:54 PM

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

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2202 posts in 2195 days

#4 posted 04-17-2013 09:18 PM

Or is it “wabbit”?

/Elmer Fudd

-- jay,

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6182 posts in 1835 days

#5 posted 04-17-2013 10:00 PM

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


2728 posts in 1614 days

#6 posted 04-17-2013 10:03 PM

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


7967 posts in 2685 days

#7 posted 04-17-2013 10:33 PM

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


16093 posts in 3255 days

#8 posted 04-18-2013 12:20 AM

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


1017 posts in 1323 days

#9 posted 04-18-2013 03:14 AM

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 1283 days

#10 posted 04-18-2013 03:20 AM

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

-- It is what it is...

View Dallas's profile


3555 posts in 1524 days

#11 posted 04-18-2013 03:46 AM

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

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

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1626 posts in 1062 days

#12 posted 04-18-2013 05:46 AM

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.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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Don Johnson

636 posts in 1818 days

#13 posted 04-18-2013 03:17 PM

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


283 posts in 976 days

#14 posted 04-18-2013 06:21 PM

I think you are splitting Hares ? Hairs ? Heirs?

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3950 posts in 2997 days

#15 posted 04-18-2013 06:38 PM

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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