American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The art of carving or incising intricate designs on whalebone or whale ivory.
- n. A decorative article made by this art.
- v. To decorate (whale ivory or whalebone) with intricate carvings or designs or make such designs.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To engrave various fanciful designs on (shells, whales' teeth, walrus-tusks, etc.); in general, to execute any piece of ingenious mechanical work.
- n. A shell or a piece of ivory scrimshawed or fancifully carved.
- Made by scrimshawing.
- n. uncountable The manufacture of handicrafts by sailors on long voyages, especially as whittled from wood or bone.
- n. countable An item produced by scrimshaw.
- v. To make an item of scrimshaw.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. Sailor's cant. U.S. To ornament, as shells, ivory, etc., by engraving, and (usually) rubbing pigments into the incised lines.
- n. Sailor's cant, U.S. A shell, a whale's tooth, or the like, that is scrimshawed.
- n. a carving (or engraving) on whalebone, whale ivory, walrus tusk, etc., usually by American whalers
- Origin unknown. (Wiktionary)
- Probably from scrimshander. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Hey guys if any of you are interested in scrimshaw I found a guy down in GA that does beautiful work.”
“To ensure Quaiche's best efforts his lover is being held captive in a torturous device called a scrimshaw suit.”
“Such work done on shipboard is called scrimshaw work.”
“The style of engraving on it looks like what is called "scrimshaw", and is considered a folk art form, practiced by whalers and other sailors in the age of wooden ships.”
“The great jaw-pans were sawn off, and placed at the disposal of anybody who wanted pieces of bone for "scrimshaw," or carved work.”
“But our carpenter was a famous workman at "scrimshaw," and he started half a dozen walking-sticks forthwith.”
“By 1960, a half-million visitors came annually to goggle at the life-size model of a 312-pound sea bass, scrimshaw, a model of HMS Bounty and 40,000 other objects.”
“Oh wow, Space Marine - gay super-warriors lusting after each other while doing intricate scrimshaw carvings?”
“Reince Priebus carves scrimshaw of his notable stool.”
“Why it's still going The fusion of history, knowledge and manners speaks of gentler times and nobler ways, of humility, tweed, bicycle bells and feigned interest in the provenance of one's scrimshaw.”
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