from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative form of cat-harping.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See cat-harping.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Nautical, one of the short ropes or (now more commonly) iron cramps used to bind in the shrouds at the masthead, so that the yards may be braced up sharply.


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  • "...he joined in the general congratulation and then told them (not without a certain satisfaction, having suffered much from cat-harpins and nether dog-pawls) that pica was the type that gave you six ems to the inch, and that all books, folio, quarto, octavo, duodecimo or even less, took their dimensions from the original sheets, folded twice, four times, eight times, and so on... the original sheets themselves having various sizes and names, as foolscap, crown, quad crown, double quad crown, post, demy, royal and many more..."

    —Patrick O'Brian, The Reverse of the Medal, 58

    Also cat-harping, in A Sea of Words: "Small ropes that brace the shrouds of the lower masts under the top of square-rigged vessels..." (138)

    February 24, 2008