holy-stone

holystone

[hoh-lee-stohn]
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:
1815–25; holy + stone; perhaps orig. jocular or profane

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World English Dictionary
holystone (ˈhəʊlɪˌstəʊn)
 
n
1.  a soft sandstone used for scrubbing the decks of a vessel
 
vb
2.  (tr) to scrub (a vessel's decks) with a holystone
 
[C19: perhaps so named from its being used in a kneeling position]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

holystone
"soft sandstone used to scrub decks of sailing ships," 1777, so called perhaps because it is full of holes.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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