knight heads

knighthead

[nahyt-hed]
noun Nautical.
1.
either of a pair of upright members flanking and securing the bowsprit of a ship at the bow, often used as mooring bitts; apostle.
2.
a plate at the fore end of a topgallant forecastle, on an iron or steel sailing ship, through which a spike bowsprit passes.

Origin:
1705–15; knight + head

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World English Dictionary
knighthead (ˈnaɪtˌhɛd)
 
n
nautical either of a pair of vertical supports for each side of the bowsprit
 
[C18: originally decorated with carvings of knights' heads]

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