One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fine white clay, used especially for making tobacco pipes or for whitening leather.
- ‘A small pipeclay lion was found, with traces of brown glaze on the mane.’
- ‘Neither pipeclay nor blanco reacted well to rain, and many men who fought at Waterloo, where it rained heavily the night before the battle, had uniforms streaked with pipeclay.’
Whiten (leather) with pipeclay.
- ‘The dye also ran, but as long as your crossbelts were pipeclayed and hair powdered, who cared if you were dressed in a fetching shade of pink?’
- ‘Well! it was a Saturday night, and I'd my baize apron on, and the tails of my bed-gown pinned together behind, down on my knees, pipeclaying the kitchen, when a knock comes to the back door.’
- ‘The infantryman carried a substantial ammunition pouch, bayonet, water-bottle, and ‘snapsack’ for a day's rations suspended from broad cross-belts, usually made of buff leather and pipeclayed to inconvenient whiteness.’
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