from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A piece of soft sandstone used for scouring the wooden decks of a ship.
- transitive v. To scrub or scour with a piece of soft sandstone.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A block of soft sandstone used for scrubbing the wooden decks of a ship, usually with sand and seawater; sometimes called a bible.
- v. To scrub the decks with a holystone.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A stone used by seamen for scrubbing the decks of ships.
- transitive v. To scrub with a holystone, as the deck of a vessel.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A soft sandstone used by seamen for scrubbing the decks of a ship. See the extract.
- To scrub with holystone, as the deck of a vessel.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. scrub with a holystone
- n. a soft sandstone used for scrubbing the decks of a ship
Perhaps from a sailor's kneeling position while scouring with the stone.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Uncertain, but likely from the fact that scrubbing is done while down on one's knees, just as in prayer. (Wiktionary)