One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A cushion for kneeling on in church, while at prayer.‘he collected the prayer books and straightened the hassocks’
pillow, bolster, headrestView synonyms
- ‘Seating consisted of small linked chairs spaced to suit the vertically challenged. Any slumping in prayer could have caused a structural failure, so one had to be dainty on the standard-issue hassock.’
- ‘The side chapels were deserted, save for an elderly aristo woman who knelt on an embroidered hassock, chanting her rosary as she strung the beads along the string.’
- ‘Many years ago when visiting St. Mary's church in Cambridge, England, I saw a large hassock with the words embroidered on it: ‘Think - Thank.’’
- ‘As a matter of interest, the chairs, a prayer book and a hassock for each seat in the original plan were bought and paid for by a 50 pence (10/-) subscription from the worshipers of the time, prior to the consecration.’
- 1.1North American A footstool.
- ‘For what she had in mind, she wished she'd had a simple footstool or hassock, but the pillows from the couch would have to do.’
- ‘The portable TV tuned found itself sitting on a coffee table instead of on the box it came in and an old leather upholstered hassock ended up in front of the couch.’
- ‘Eric loved the hassock, and he admitted that sitting on one folding chair with his feet on the other used to make his back hurt.’
- ‘Put your feet up on a footstool or hassock, or lie on your side.’
- ‘Not only is our new library just gorgeous and full of cozy chairs and large hassocks and windows and sunlight and air, but one particular favorite nook is right next to all the poetry books.’
2A firm clump of grass or matted vegetation in marshy or boggy ground.
- ‘A root will run two feet under ground, afraid to pop up its head, till it finds a hassock of bunch grass or an ironweed root to serve as a protector.’
Old English hassuc (in hassock (sense 2 of the noun)), of unknown origin.
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