holystone [hoh-lee-stohn] ExamplesWord Origin noun

  1. a block of soft sandstone used in scrubbing the decks of a ship.

verb (used with object), ho·ly·stoned, ho·ly·ston·ing.

  1. to scrub with a holystone.

Origin of holystone 1815–25; holy + stone; perhaps orig. jocular or profane Examples from the Web for holystone Contemporary Examples of holystone

  • If my boot should leave a stain on the marble, George must not holystone it away.

    A Mark Twain Christmas Story

    The Daily Beast

    December 24, 2009

  • Historical Examples of holystone

  • We’ll holystone ’em an’ slush ’em with hot tar if they give any trouble!

    The Outdoor Girls at Ocean View

    Laura Lee Hope

  • My head was like to burst, and my tongue was like a lump of holystone in my mouth.

    Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood

    George MacDonald

  • I need scarcely explain that holystone is a large soft stone, used with water, for scrubbing the dirt off the ship’s decks.

    A Boy’s Voyage Round the World

    The Son of Samuel Smiles

  • On deck, the men began to holystone the planks, polish up the brasswork, and make everything shipshape for port.

    A Boy’s Voyage Round the World

    The Son of Samuel Smiles

  • The Malay swung aside; the holystone crunched into the sack of eggs and slid to earth.


    George Allan England

  • British Dictionary definitions for holystone holystone noun

    1. a soft sandstone used for scrubbing the decks of a vessel


    1. (tr) to scrub (a vessel’s decks) with a holystone

    Word Origin for holystone C19: perhaps so named from its being used in a kneeling position Word Origin and History for 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.

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