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Swab   Listen
noun
Swab  n.  
1.
A kind of mop for cleaning floors, the desks of vessels, etc., esp. one made of rope-yarns or threads.
2.
A bit of sponge, cloth, or the like, fastened to a handle, for cleansing the mouth of a sick person, applying medicaments to deep-seated parts, etc.
3.
(Naut.) An epaulet. (Sailor's Slang)
4.
A cod, or pod, as of beans or pease. (Obs.)
5.
A sponge, or other suitable substance, attached to a long rod or handle, for cleaning the bore of a firearm.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Swab" Quotes from Famous Books



... of domestic labor is so frequently done in a negligent manner, by domestics, as this. A full supply of conveniences will do much toward the remedy of this evil. A swab, made of strips of linen tied to a stick, is useful to wash nice dishes, especially small, deep articles. Two or three towels, and three dish-cloths should be used. Two large tin tubs, painted on the outside, should be provided; one for washing, and one for rinsing; also, a large ...
— The American Woman's Home • Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe

... somewhere—smell it? Seems to me like an old mat or summat. It's that swab of a steward, maybe; if he isn't breaking glass, he's upsetting lamps and burning holes in the carpet. Bless MY soul, I'd sooner have a dozen Mary Anns an' their dustpans round the place than one tomfool steward like Jenkins." He went to ...
— The Blue Lagoon - A Romance • H. de Vere Stacpoole

... running up, and yet it looked like sheer Waste to lavish so much Collateral on the upkeep of a Physical Swab. ...
— Ade's Fables • George Ade

... forth on the enterprise, cased in tight blue pantaloons that fitted him like his skin, over which were drawn long well-polished Hessian boots, each with a formidable tassel at top, and his coat was buttoned close up to the chin, with a blaz-, ing swab on the right shoulder, while a laced cocked hat and dress sword completed his equipment. But, alas! when we were accounted for on board of the old Torch, there was a fearful dilapidation of his external man. First of all, his inexpressibles were absolutely ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... save his leg," said Dr. Barnes, grinning at last. "But don't let this occur again, my Christian friend. This will lay you up for two or three weeks the best way it can happen, in all likelihood. Well, I'll swab it out and tie it up, and give you some iodine. Keep it painted. How big do the grayling ...
— The Sagebrusher - A Story of the West • Emerson Hough

... as I beheld the scene, but I said nothing. I considered myself too fortunate to escape with life. When it was all over, the boatswain roared out, "That job's done! Now, Mr Barber, swab up all this here blood, and be d——d to you! and recollect that you are one of us." I obeyed in fear and silence, and then returned to my former station ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Captain Frederick Marryat

... seen the great swab, who is supple as a glove, and will do ALL, which some interpret NOTHING. However, we ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume V (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... water—clean stabling, and laxative food will usually remedy the evil. Compound solution of cresol is an excellent remedy at this stage. It should be applied, in its pure or undiluted state, to the suppurating and putrefying tissue between the claws. It is best applied by means of a cotton swab on a thin stick. Care must be taken to keep it from contact with the skin about the coronary band or heels. If deep sloughing has taken place the carbolic solution should be used, and a wad of oakum or cotton smeared with ...
— Special Report on Diseases of Cattle • U.S. Department of Agriculture

... interesting. Hazlitt stole up behind, and knocked his hat flying across the cloister. In a second Gordon and Lovelace were on him. They did not care in the very least what happened to Davenham. He played no part in their life. But a School House man had been "cheeked" by a filthy little outhouse swab. These aliens had to ...
— The Loom of Youth • Alec Waugh

... said through her clenched teeth. " Do you think I want to listen to your everlasting twaddle about her? Why, she's-she's no better than other people, you ignorant little mamma's boy. She's no better than other people, you swab! " ...
— Active Service • Stephen Crane

... why there be nothing to do, 'less they shave off the beard of the grand Turk to make a swab for the cabin of the king's yacht, and sarve out his seven hundred wives amongst the fleet. I say, I wonder how he keeps so many of them ...
— Newton Forster • Frederick Marryat

... one knowing lid, Hitches his breeches and shifts his quid "Hey? What is it? Who 's come to grief Louder, young swab, ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... "D'yer hear, you black swab!" cried the sailor. "Show the way to your master's house, and keep that talking box of ...
— Hunting the Skipper - The Cruise of the "Seafowl" Sloop • George Manville Fenn

... and on. Terry, still wrapped in his blanket, sat before him looking up with an absurdly rapt air as of a student at his master's feet. Merchant stopped to swab the thick perspiration from his face, laughed at Terry's humbugging pose, and desisted. Terry slipped on his shoes, buckled on the leather leggings he had used as a pillow and picking up his saddlebags went out to clean ...
— Terry - A Tale of the Hill People • Charles Goff Thomson

... believe forty seconds elapsed before the gunners were ready for the third discharge. In order to save time they did not wait to swab out the piece, and the only preparation make by them was to clear the ...
— The Minute Boys of the Mohawk Valley • James Otis

... bi-chloride, 1 part copper chloride, 6 parts hydrochloric acid, 5 parts alcohol, and 50 parts lamp-black, these being all well mixed. To use this preparation successfully—the article to be blacked or bronzed being first made clean and free from grease—it is applied with a swab or brush, or, better still, the object may be dipped into it; the liquid is allowed to dry on the metal, and the latter is then placed in boiling water, the temperature being maintained for half an hour. If, after this, the colour is not so dark as is desired, the operation has ...
— Handbook on Japanning: 2nd Edition - For Ironware, Tinware, Wood, Etc. With Sections on Tinplating and - Galvanizing • William N. Brown

... Jake?" said Carry in response to my inquiry, as she prepared four o'clock tea; "he's Uncle Jake, that's what he is, and enough for me too, that he is. The old swab wants hanging ...
— Some Everyday Folk and Dawn • Miles Franklin

... worried for fear I'd be late, and I jumped oot to see what was wrang. I clean forgot I was in the costume for my first song at the new hall—it had been my last, tae, at the Tiv. I was wearin' kilt, glengarry, and all the costume for the swab germ' corporal o' Hielanders in "She's Ma Daisy." D'ye mind the song? Then ye'll ken hoo I lookit, oot there on the Embankment, wi' the lichts shinin' doon on me and a', and me dancin' aroond in a fever o' ...
— Between You and Me • Sir Harry Lauder

... opened the bottle of fizz and poured it out into a deep, enamelled starching-dish, and Billy MacLaggan drank thereof, and then raised his head, with his immoral-looking beard hanging in a sodden point like a wet deck-swab, and asked for more. That is, he asked as well as any Christian and civilised goat could ask, by standing up on his hind legs like a circus-horse and making strange, unearthly noises. Then he rammed ...
— By Rock and Pool on an Austral Shore, and Other Stories • Louis Becke

... 7:30 P. M.. At 8:15 the whole front as here described was blazing and at its full height. My windows were so hot that I could not bear my hand on them. I opened one and felt the woodwork, which was equally hot. I had buckets of water in the front and rear rooms, with an improvised swab, made by tying up a feather duster, ready to put out any small fire which would be within my reach. I watched the situation for an hour, and as the flames died down a little I had hope, and at 10 P. M. I felt satisfied that it would not cross Van ...
— San Francisco During the Eventful Days of April, 1906 • James B. Stetson

... underclothing. When the 'longshoremen called for drink he laughed with a kind of happy shiver, as though rubbing his body round the inside of his clothes, cast a quick glance at us in our dim corner, and declared for rum, adding that the Mayor of Falmouth was a well-meaning old swab, but his liquor wouldn't warm the vitals of a baby ...
— Poison Island • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)

... his shells were gas which glazed the feed lamps and the sight of the lenses, as well as accumulating in the inside of the gun muzzle, making it necessary to swab out the muzzle of the gun before using, as otherwise it would rust badly, which would result in putting the gun out of commission in short order. The fire developed into a first-class artillery duel, our battery and nine others answering ten ...
— S.O.S. Stand to! • Reginald Grant

... so if so be you could see her! Gad, her sides be battered like an old penny piece; the shot be still sticking in her wales, and her sails be like so many clap-nets: we have run all the way home under jury topmasts; and as for her decks, you may swab wi' hot water, and you may swab wi' cold, but there's the blood-stains, and there they'll bide. . . . The Cap'n had a narrow escape, like many o' the rest—a shot shaved his ankle like a razor. You should have seen that man's ...
— The Trumpet-Major • Thomas Hardy

... talk of being chambermaid to a cow, but it's worse being groom to a gun. These rifles have been in use all summer, and they're all et up inside. They're like fat men, they sweat. Then they rust. Put in some dope and swab the barrel, then take twenty-five dinky little squares of cotton flannel and run them through, and the last will be just as dirty as the first. Let it go at that, and put in some oil, ...
— At Plattsburg • Allen French

... blow in the face and, as he shook his head with an evil grin, according to his custom when well struck, he found it followed practically instantaneously by another. The swab was about the quickest thing that ever got into a ring. He was like one of these bloomin', tricky, jack-in-the-box featherweights, instead of a steady lumbering "heavy". And the Gorilla allowed himself to be driven to a corner again, and let his head sink ...
— Snake and Sword - A Novel • Percival Christopher Wren

... indifference about ther injury he done ter us riled us all up. Seein' as he didn't care a blame, our skipper sent ther friggte aflyin' arter him. Waal, sir, ther cuss cracked on sail an' fled. Arter him we tacked, detarmined ter punish ther swab fer his imperdence. It wuz a long stern chase wot lasted ten hours. ...
— Jack Wright and His Electric Stage; - or, Leagued Against the James Boys • "Noname"

... It's all right, Cap'n Dott. Don't you worry about Zuby and me. We'll boss this end of the craft; you 'tend to the rest of it. Say, that Hungerford swab ...
— Cap'n Dan's Daughter • Joseph C. Lincoln

... Martin Harris procured several pails of water and a long-handled swab and with these did what he could to extinguish the fire on the sails. Several of the others joined in, and inside of ten minutes all danger of a conflagration ...
— The Rover Boys on the Ocean • Arthur M. Winfield

... if some one down the street had got him tied to the end of a pole and is using him to swab off his windows," said Abe Lincoln with a good-natured laugh. "I'll try to find ...
— A Man for the Ages - A Story of the Builders of Democracy • Irving Bacheller

... 'ome with me. I've often thought I'd like a talk with you, sir. But I'm keepin' you. [He prepares to swab the pane.] ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... notice of the sale of "teeth brushes" till nearly Revolutionary times. Perhaps the colonists used, as in old England, little brushes made of "dentissick root" or mallow, chewed into a fibrous swab. ...
— Customs and Fashions in Old New England • Alice Morse Earle

... both well advanced and had had time to infect other members of the family. With the help of the laboratory, however, we have a prompt, positive, and simple method of deciding at the very earliest stage. We merely take a sterilized swab of cotton on the end of a wire, rub it gently over the surface of the throat and tonsils, restore it to its glass tube, smearing it over the surface of some solidified blood-serum placed at the bottom of the tube, close the tube ...
— Preventable Diseases • Woods Hutchinson

... for you if you vas, you seven-foot stock-fish,' cried my enemy the cooper, whose aspect was not improved by a great strip of plaster over his eye. 'You might have learned something petter than to pull on a rope, or to swab decks like a vrouw ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... sulphuric acid. The results were favorable from the very start. The warts rapidly shrunk away and finally disappeared entirely. The acid is applied to the crown of the wart with a small swab or similar instrument, and only in sufficient quantities to wet the crown surface of the wart. It should be applied about three times a week until the wart is well reduced. Don't use too much acid, and don't keep up the application too ...
— One Thousand Questions in California Agriculture Answered • E.J. Wickson

... to send you to bed without your supper. Talk to you? You bet I'll talk to you, John Cardigan; and I'll tell you things, too, you scandalous bunko-steerer. To-morrow morning I'm going to put a pair of overalls on you, arm you with a tin can and a swab, and set you to greasing the ...
— The Valley of the Giants • Peter B. Kyne

... says he, his voice kind of breakin' up. "That's what I want to forget, how—how late it is!" and hanged if he don't have to fish out a handkerchief and swab off his eyes. "You see," he ...
— Odd Numbers - Being Further Chronicles of Shorty McCabe • Sewell Ford

... Still holding the pistol in his hand he gave me several more cuts, and then told me to swab the deck. I did it, pretending all the time I was scarce strong enough to keep my feet. Then I made my way forward and sat down against the bulwark, as if nigh done up, till night came. That night as I lay in my bunk I heard the men talking in ...
— By Sheer Pluck - A Tale of the Ashanti War • G. A. Henty

... a line on my own account. Be careful what you are doing in this business. The fellow who informed is a sort of hanger-on to the missionaries here. They don't think much of him, but seem to put up with the swab as a necessary evil. He confessed that jealousy had something to do with the matter, and I could see the Admiral wanted to kick him out of the cabin. Make sure that this man Barcom is a deserter, or there will be the devil ...
— Officer And Man - 1901 • Louis Becke

... doing more than let the breath go in and out of his body, and so each one of us knew that something moved without, in the big cabin. In a little, something touched upon our door, and it was, as I have mentioned earlier, as though a great swab rubbed and scrubbed at the woodwork. At this, the men nearest unto the door came backwards in a surge, being put in sudden fear by reason of the Thing being so near; but the bo'sun held up a hand, bidding them, in a low voice, to make no unneedful noise. ...
— The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" • William Hope Hodgson

... I said pleasantly, "you are a tar, as any one can see, and as good a seaman, I doubt not, as ever slept upon foc's'le. Two years ago I was a swab myself—" ...
— Humphrey Bold - A Story of the Times of Benbow • Herbert Strang

... how to handle a weapon," she said oracularly, and, sitting down on the edge of the coal-bin, proceeded to swab out the gun with a wad of cotton on the end ...
— More Tish • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... it! I mustn't lock a door without asking my barman now. Pack up and be off, you swab, afore I ...
— Odd Craft, Complete • W.W. Jacobs

... metal edges, to a loutish youth in a ragged shirt and bare legs. The cabin, partly covered, was filled with bagged bales; a small space had been left for the steersman, and forward the deck was littered with untidy ropes and swab, ...
— The Happy End • Joseph Hergesheimer

... portmanteau into charge of a porter, "I was so glad to find that you had joined the Triton, and as the captain knows and esteems you, he is sure to give you a lift whenever he can. We shall see some more service together, and I hope that you, at all events, will mount a swab on your shoulder before the ship is ...
— Won from the Waves • W.H.G. Kingston

... said old Jim. "Steve Jarrold's another. They got the preacher there an' everything." He paused a moment and reflected, with puckered brows. "What do you think of her marryin' that swab, now? Think Ben's goin' to be pleased? Kind of surprising ain't ...
— The Everlasting Whisper • Jackson Gregory

... indoor work is the "house-coolie," whose business it is to swab floors, polish grates, light fires, trim lamps, clean knives and boots and make himself generally useful about the house. Oftentimes he is unable to speak any English, wears a short coat in contradistinction ...
— Life and sport in China - Second Edition • Oliver G. Ready

... corporal, I know who you mean. It was him—I am sure—and as sure as I sit here I'll be revenged. Bring a swab, corporal, and wipe up all this blood. Do you think the ...
— Snarleyyow • Captain Frederick Marryat

... lime-kiln, that we may swab off the dark blemishes of the hour!! Aye, and on the whited wall, draw thee a picture of power and beauty Cleveland, for instance, thanking the peoples party for all the favors gratuitously granted by our mongrel saints in speckled linen ...
— The Agrarian Crusade - A Chronicle of the Farmer in Politics • Solon J. Buck

... putting out from Yarmouth. The ship was not yet clear of the confusion of her hurried refitting and revictualling. Stores lay about which needed stowing; there were new sails to bend and old ropes to splice; there were decks to swab and guns to polish, hammocks to sling, and ammunition to give out. Yet all worked with so hearty a will, and looked forward so joyously, after eighteen weeks' idleness, to a brush with the enemy, that before sundown all was nearly taut and ship-shape. If ...
— Kilgorman - A Story of Ireland in 1798 • Talbot Baines Reed

... words; it's you who forget, you swab. Ay, it's you who forget that you asked me to take the money to the gambling- tent, and made me promise that you should have half of what we won, but that I should play for both. What, are you beginning to remember now—is ...
— Dawn • H. Rider Haggard

... say to de man ahead o' me, 'huccome dat white man don't bus' dat damn yeller swab ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - From Interviews with Former Slaves - Florida Narratives • Works Projects Administration

... due course was landed at Rosario with but small loss, the crew, except in one case, remaining sober enough to help navigate even the difficult Parana. But one old sinner, the case I speak of, an old Labrador fisherman, became a useless, drunken swab, in spite of all we could do. I say "we" for most of the crew were on my side, in favour of a fair deal ...
— Voyage of the Liberdade • Captain Joshua Slocum



Words linked to "Swab" :   mop, implement, dust mop, cleaning device, cleaning implement, swob, cleaning equipment, apply, wipe up, sponge mop, put on, dustmop, dry mop, mop handle



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