One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A sea sponge native to the Mediterranean, Hippospongia communis (family Spongidae), widely harvested and prepared to produce a high quality, soft household and cosmetic sponge; also called honeycomb sponge.
2A natural or artificial sponge used to clean or bail water out of a boat.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in United States Economist.
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