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holystone

[hoh-lee-stohn] /ˈhoʊ liˌstoʊn/
noun
1.
a block of soft sandstone used in scrubbing the decks of a ship.
verb (used with object), holystoned, holystoning.
2.
to scrub with a holystone.
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25; holy + stone; perhaps orig. jocular or profane
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for holy-stone

holystone

/ˈhəʊlɪˌstəʊn/
noun
1.
a soft sandstone used for scrubbing the decks of a vessel
verb
2.
(transitive) to scrub (a vessel's decks) with a holystone
Word Origin
C19: perhaps so named from its being used in a kneeling position
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for holy-stone

holystone

n.

soft sandstone used to scrub decks of sailing ships, 1777, despite the spelling, so called perhaps because it is full of holes. As a verb, by 1828.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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10
9
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