from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A shell covered with a nacreous coating, or with mother-of-pearl.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He had farmed savages and savagery, and from fever and hardship, the crack of Sniders and the lash of the overseers, had wrested five millions of money in the form of beche-de-mer, sandalwood, pearl-shell and turtle-shell, ivory nuts and copra, grasslands, trading stations, and plantations.


  • The carved pearl-shell ornament that hung from nose to chin and impeded speech was purely ornamental, as were the holes in his ears mere utilities for carrying pipe and tobacco.

    Chapter 2

  • On his chest, suspended from a single string of porpoise-teeth around his throat, hung a big crescent carved out of opalescent pearl-shell.

    Chapter 22

  • I haven't seen a pearl-shell fish-hook in years, but I swear that Kalakaua accumulated ten thousand of them, to say nothing of human jaw-bone fish-hooks, and feather cloaks, and capes and helmets, and stone adzes, and poi-pounders of phallic design.


  • They are on the spot, and week by week, blown in by monsoon or southeast trade, the schooners come to anchor, cargo'd with copra, ivory nuts, pearl-shell, hawksbill turtle, and thirst.


  • He fondled the impression of her as of silverspun wire, of fine leather, of twisted hair-sennit from the heads of maidens such as the Marquesans make, of carven pearl-shell for the lure of the bonita, and of barbed ivory at the heads of sea-spears such as the Eskimos throw.


  • They are shipwrecked thrice, in the Gilberts, the Santa Cruz Group and the Fijis, trade pearl and pearl-shell, hawkbill turtle-shell, stranded wrecks, and bêche-de-mer.

    “Some day, all the fools will be dead....”

  • After a prosperous pearling season in the Paumotus the vessel is jammed with pearl-shell and copra plus a crew and ninety passengers — Paumotans, Tahitians, men, women and children.

    “Some day, all the fools will be dead....”

  • Between the two tea-chests with their coloured pearl-shell figures, he would look his best.

    The White Monkey

  • The first dawn comes as a pearl-shell glow off the left of our bow, backlighting tall cumulus clouds that rise like morels on the horizon.

    The Song of The Dodo


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