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to prick


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1 To sew an additional central seam between the two seams which were normally employed to join the cloths of a sail. This was normally only done when the sails were worn and the original stitching weakened by long wear. See sailmaker's stitching.

2 To roll up leaf tobacco in canvas and serve it with tarred twine to compress it as solidly as possible; when matured and cut with a knife it was a favourite smoke or chew of old tars. Those prepared to sacrifice a portion of their grog ration in which to soak the tobacco before it was served always professed to enjoy it even more. A quantity of tobacco in its canvas and serving was known as a prick, qualified by the weight of leaf tobacco thus treated, as a half-pound prick, pound prick, etc.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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