Open Wide

26 Apr

skrimshandering – v. making handicrafts, usually whittled, by sailors on long journeys

Classical Usage:  In the final chapter of the three that Ishmael dedicates to whales depicted in artwork, he talks about skrimshander, those pieces carved in whale bones or teeth, made by skrimshandering.  “Some of them have little boxes of dentistical-looking implements, specially intended for the skrimshandering business.”

Classically Mad Usage:  I like the word.  It’s fun to say.  I may even encourage my boys to whittle, take them out on a boat this summer, and call them skrimshanderers.  But what I’m really looking forward to, is going to get my teeth cleaned in a few months and asking the technician if I can see her dentistical implements.

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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Moby-Dick


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