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90s Slang You Should Know


[bob-stey] /ˈbɒbˌsteɪ/
noun, Nautical.
a rope, chain, or rod from the outer end of the bowsprit to the cutwater.
Origin of bobstay
First recorded in 1750-60; bob1 + stay3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bobstay
Historical Examples
  • A ship running down channel had walked clean over the poor old Dolphin, and I had got hold of the bobstay.

    By Sheer Pluck G. A. Henty
  • Lowering himself from the port bow into the water, he clung to the bobstay.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman Albert Walter Tolman
  • Sometimes the bobstay itself is set up too taut, at other times the jib stay is strained.

    On Yachts and Yacht Handling Thomas Fleming Day
  • The Kanaka caught the bobstay, climbed over the bow, and crawled aft.

    A Son Of The Sun Jack London
  • The bobstay of the bowsprit was smashed by coming in contact with a mass of floating ice.

  • Twice in my life I have had men anchor the boat on the bobstay.

    On Yachts and Yacht Handling Thomas Fleming Day
  • "I 'll tell you what," 'Frisco Kid suggested half an hour later, while they clung to the bobstay preparatory to climbing out.

  • You cannot make your bobstay too strong or fasten it too securely.

    On Yachts and Yacht Handling Thomas Fleming Day
  • Iron plates by which the lower end of the bobstay is attached to the stem.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • It parted in a sea-way, and the shock broke the bobstay shackle.

    On Yachts and Yacht Handling Thomas Fleming Day
British Dictionary definitions for bobstay


a strong stay between a bowsprit and the stem of a vessel for holding down the bowsprit
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from bob1 + stay³
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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