It is important to note that while the loft of a Mashie-Niblick can be compared to modern clubs, the playing characteristics can be very different. Mashie-Niblicks varied greatly in loft, from approximately 40 degrees up to 50 degrees loft. These lofts correspond to the range of a modern 7, 8, or 9 iron or pitching wedge. The average length seems to have been about 36 inches. The shape of the head determined some of the playing characteristics of the club, most Mashie-Niblick heads are roughly egg-shaped and shallower from leading-edge to topline than the Spade Mashie or Niblick.
The name comes from the old golf-club naming convention according to which the short-irons or "approach clubs" were known as "Mashies" and the very well lofted club was called the Niblick. The mashie-niblick was an in-between club, hence the name, and used equally effectively for long pitches of 120-100 yards, short pitches, and short chips around the green.
The name niblick comes from the Scots nib, which means "nose". This refers to the shape of the club that was very different from the longer wooden clubs.