from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A small hook formerly worn on the front of the bodice to hang a watch upon.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
She pretended she was cheapening a stay-hook, but was thrown into such a quandary, that she forgot the most material part of the information; and when she came home, went into an hysteric fit of laughing.
Her form was tall and spare; her face had been very pretty, and still bore the visible remains of its powers of pleasing; her grey locks, which she took no pains to conceal or disguise, peeped from beneath her fine black laced hood; her long taper waist, pointed before with a diamond stay-hook, her stiff rich silk gown and quilted satin petticoat, under a clear starched apron, and her paste shoe-buckles, in her satin shoes, truly characterised an old maid in the very beginning of the last century.