from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Nautical, a semicylindrical piece of wood, fitted with a handle, and having a groove on one side to fit the convexity of a rope. It is used for convenience in serving ropes, or wrapping them round with spun-yarn, etc., to prevent chafing.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Bill had the serving-mallet, and as he worked it round the rope the Dago passed the ball of spun-yarn in time with him.
I got a good insight, however, into the uses of the serving-mallet, the fid, marlinspike and winch, and did something with the needle and palm.
You’d better bring a serving-mallet aft with you, when you come.”
You'd better bring a serving-mallet aft with you, when you come. "