from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A nickname for the U.S.S. Constitution, a sailing ship which fought in the American Revolutionary war, and now functions as a floating museum in Boston harbor. It was given its nickname because cannonballs bounced off its hard wooden sides.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a United States 44-gun frigate that was one of the first three naval ships built by the United States; it won brilliant victories over British frigates during the War of 1812 and is without doubt the most famous ship in the history of the United States Navy; it has been rebuilt and is anchored in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston
Sorry, no etymologies found.
There were gold-gilded paintings of Old Ironsides firing a broadside into an enemy ship, of dogfighting Japanese Zeros and Corsairs, of battleships pounding an enemy atoll.