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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 holystoning

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 holystoning

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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