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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
a small line composed of two strands a little twisted, used for winding around ropes and cables, to prevent their being weakened by fretting. Marline spike, Marling spike a tropic bird. A jager, or skua gull.
Origin: LG. Marlien, marling, or D. Marling, marlijn, fr. D. Marren to tie, prob. Akin to E. Moor, v, and lijn line: cf.F. Merlin. See moor, line.