A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1381

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1381

Oákum. n.s. [A word probably formed by some corruption.] Cords untwisted and reduced to hemp, with which, mingled with pitch, leaks are stopped.

They make their oakum, wherewith they chalk the seams of the ships, of old seer and weather beaten ropes, when they are over spent and grown so rotten as they serve for no other use but to make rotten oakum, which moulders and washes away with every sea as the ships labour and are tossed. Ral.

Some drive old oakum thro' each seam and rift;
Their left hand does the calking-iron guide;
The rattling mallet with the right they lift.

Sources: Dryden, John (788) · Raleigh, Walter (68)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Oakum." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: August 10, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/oakum/.

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