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Why is "wrench" translated as "English key" ("llave inglesa") in Spanish? What is English about it? I get the "key" part, because one can "open" things with it, but why English?

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You can check in Wikipedia in english: In many European countries (e.g. France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Italy) the adjustable wrench is called an "English key" as it was first invented in 1842 by the English engineer Richard Clyburn. Another English engineer, Edwin Beard Budding, is also credited with the invention. –  Envite Jul 16 at 5:29

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Should be because was invented by an English/British, also in many countries it's known as llave francesa.

http://rafaelestrella.es/2008/10/05/llave-francesa-o-llave-inglesa/

You can read on wikipedia the article in both languages

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adjustable_spanner

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Okay, but why not call every invention by the country of its inventor, then - why was the need felt to specify that a wrench was invented by an Englishman? –  B. Clay Shannon Jul 16 at 13:13
    
In our countries many things when were new, were called referencing the place where it was invented. –  Emilio Gort Jul 16 at 13:16
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@B.ClayShannon: That's a question that goes far beyond the scope of this site :) –  Flimzy Jul 16 at 20:50

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