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dunsel (plural dunsels)

  1. (nautical) Something (especially part of a vessel) that is useless, or superfluous or unnecessary.
    • 1982, Marteen Dee Graham, Silver Sundown, New York, N.Y.: Dell Publishing, →ISBN, page 42:
      If I'm not part of the crew and earn my keep, then I'm a dunsel. And you'll not have a dunsel aboard long []
    • 2007, Mark S. Kadrich, “Linux”, in Endpoint Security, Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Addison-Wesley, →ISBN, pages 229 and 234:
      [page 229] For those of you who don't recognize the term, dunsel was a term first used in Star Trek to characterize Captain Kirk in the episode "The Ultimate Computer." The plotline was about a scientist, Doctor Richard Daystrom, who installs a computer that is designed to operate the Enterprise without the need for the crew. The new M5 computer would enable mankind to explore the galaxy without putting human life in danger. Without a crew, a captain is pretty useless, and at one point Kirk was referred to as Captain Dunsel. [] Well, I'm using dunsel here to describe software or applications that don't need to be on your computer. [] [page 234] More than a few systems have been accessed via the guest account or other default accounts, so one thing we need to do is to remove all the dunsel default user accounts.
    • 2015 September 2, Chris Mentch, “In the Face of Her Storm”, in As I See It: Reasons, Rhymes, and Reflections; the Spirit of a “Well-versed” Philosophy, Bloomington, Ind.: WestBow Press, →ISBN:
      I struggled down through the galley. / And again up to the mast. / I even checked on the dunsel, / Wrapped my girl's sails down, I wrapped 'em low and I wrapped 'em fast.
  2. (nautical, by extension) A captain of a vessel who has little or no authority.

See also[edit]