from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In ship-building, one of the elliptical rails at the head of a ship.
- n. The upper horizontal member of a door-frame.
- n. A kerchief or other garment of linen for the head, worn especially by women.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The giddiness caught him and he clutched at the head-rail of the bed to steady himself.
Finally, one of the bystanders more daring than the rest advanced, and boldly turned back the hood of the head-rail, letting it hang down over his shoulders, and the head of an old man was revealed.
A murmur of surprise and expectation now ran through the crowd, and the same bold hand bodily removed the head-rail and the robe beneath it; and there stood old Bartlemy in his gray woollen tunic, his legs bare from the knees down, and his feet encased in skin shoes reaching to his ankles.
With an air of pride the old man, clad in his woman's dress, consisting of a long, loose, blue robe surmounted by a long, red head-rail which reached to his knees, walked back to the horses.
The Anglo-Saxon ladies seldom, if ever, went with their heads bare; sometimes the veil, or _head-rail_, was replaced by a golden head-band, or it was worn over the veil.
The tow-rope surged over, snapping the iron stanchions of the head-rail one after another as if they had been sticks of sealing-wax.
Look at that, sir, "-- as the schooner leapt from the crest of a sea into the hollow beyond, and the foam buzzed and boiled to the level of her lee head-rail and then went glancing away dizzily aft --" ain't that just perfectly beautiful?
But what was the old black brier-wood pipe doing on the head-rail between the two graves?