1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Catamaran

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CATAMARAN (a Tamil word, from catta, to tie, and maram wood), a surf-boat or raft used by the natives of Madras and along the Coromandel Coast in India. It is usually made of three tree trunks lashed together, the centre trunk being the largest and longest, and having one end bent upward to form a kind of prow. Catamarans of a larger size are in use in the West Indies and South America. The name is also given to two boats lashed together. Apparently through an erroneous connexion with cat, the name has been applied to a noisy scolding woman.