How Did the Squeegee Get its Name, What Does it Mean, and Where Did the Squeegee Come From?

A squeegee brings to mind either spring cleaning or an annoying panhandler at a traffic light.

The word probably had an equally unpleasant effect on the sailors who gave the scraping instrument its name.

Squeege was an eighteenth-century alteration of squeeze or press and was the inspiration for the name of a tool used for scraping the decks of ships.

In Moby Dick, American author Herman Melville (1819-1891) called the tool a “squilgee,” but other sources indicate that squeegee was a nautical term for the instrument as early as 1844.