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Bear hardly deserves its own page but, as setup, this puts Holystone, rather than Bear, on the Category page for "Animal names in nautical use". Mayhap one wiser than myself can adjust accordingly. If WP's "Redirect" function worked, I think I might manage it thus -- at present I have linked the Bear (disambig) directly here -- but I'm stumped otherwise. Czrisher 23:25, 21 August 2008 (BST)

The source of the name

I recall (and it may have been from a museum guide - notoriously given to invention) that the holystone is so named because the large stones had a hole (or at least a depression) in the centre - the sailor would insert a stout pole into the hole and push and pull the stone across the deck. Does this seem familiar to anyone? This would seem to make sense... but then so does the 'holy' due to kneeling. I shall have to do some further research. Lar 05:52, 12 January 2009 (GMT)

Symth reference

The complete text of the Symth reference follows:

Holy-Stone. A sandstone for scrubbing decks, so called from being originally used for Sunday cleaning, or obtained by plundering church--yards of their tombstones, or because the seamen have to go on their kennes to use it.

Smyth, W. H. (William Henry), 1788-1865 Admiral. The Sailor's Word~Book. Blackie and Son, Paternoster Row, 1867 Reprinted by Algrove Publishing Limited Almonte, ON Canada 2004. ISBN 1-897030-05-3
Bruce 17:38, 12 January 2009 (GMT)

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