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A Marlinspike is a tool on a ship meant to release ropes under tension, also used to splice ropes together. It was similar to an ice pick, and could be used as one. If the crew attempted a mutiny and couldn't get their hands on any weapons, they would use a marlinspike. The Marlin Fish was named after the Marlinspike for it resembles the "Spike" like nose on the Fish.
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A 19th century Marlinspike

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