From Academic Kids

Transom (probably a corruption of Latin transtrum, a thwart, in a boat; equivalents are French traverse, croisillon, German Losholz) is the architectural term given to the horizontal lintel or beam which is framed across a window, dividing it into stages or heights. In early Gothic ecclesiastical work transoms are only found in belfry unglazed windows or spire lights, where they were deemed necessary to strengthen the mullions in the absence of the iron stay bars, which in glazed windows served a similar purpose. In domestic work, on account of the opening casements, they are more frequently found. In the later Gothic, and more especially the Perpendicular period, the introduction of transoms became very general in windows of all kinds.

Transom is the customary U. S. word for a window over a door, hinged at the top or bottom edge, and capable of being opened for ventilation. In England it is usually referred to as a fanlight, and occasionally by the French word "vasistas." The French term is phonetically similar to German phrase "was ist das?" ("what is that?"). Folk etymology ascribes it as originating with German chambermaids in France.

The phrase "over the transom" refers to works submitted for publication without being solicited; the image being invoked that of a writer tossing a manuscript through the open window over the door of the publisher's office.

In marine architecture, a transom is a vertical (or near-vertical) flat or flattish surface that forms the stern of a vessel. On smaller vessels where an outboard motor is the source of propulsion, the motor is usually mounted on the transom, and held in place either by clamps or metal bolts that go through the transom. In this arrangement all the power of the motor is transmitted via the transom to the rest of the vessel's structure, making it a very important part of the vessel's construction.

Transom is also the name of the character in the movie Thunderbirds played by Roseęż (okrętownictwo)


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