Etymology
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holystone (n.)

soft sandstone used to scrub decks of sailing ships, 1777, despite the spelling, probably so called perhaps because it is full of holes, and thus from hole (n.). The other theory is that it was used for cleaning decks on Sundays. As a verb, by 1828.

Six days shalt thou labor as hard as thou art able
And on the seventh holystone the decks and scrape the cable
["The Philadelphia Catechism," Dana, c. 1830]

updated on September 29, 2018

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Definitions of holystone from WordNet
1
holystone (v.)
scrub with a holystone;
holystone the ship's deck
2
holystone (n.)
a soft sandstone used for scrubbing the decks of a ship;
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.