TheAnts wrote:Why "Iron Girder"? You don't make engines out of girders. Do you? It's a weird sort of name. I wonder if he meant to call her "Iron Maiden" but thought he might get sued.
I think it might be a combination of "Gravel Gertie" and Gertrude Street in Australia which has a famous wrought iron company.
Gravel Gertie was a character in Dick Tracy who was homely but had beautiful hair and could play and sing well (which reminds me of the goblins). However, "a Gravel Gertie" is a bunker designed to contain low-order nuclear explosions, which reminds me of a reported incident in RS.
Alpha Wrought Iron (230 Gertrude St., Fitzroy, VIC Australia), "Recognised as the pinnacle of wrought iron craftsmanship in Australia, our reputation has been forged over 50 years." Sir Terry has visited Australia many times and may have been made aware of them.
Then there's the whole "girt by sea" element (TLC), and... well, the words "gird" and "girdle" are funny words with associations of speed and power: Puck says, "I'll put a girdle round about the Earth in forty minutes."
So maybe a "girder" could be "something that girds"- the Iron Girder could gird Ankh-Morpork faster than the average horse (and maybe faster than a golem horse).