One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An oil found with spermaceti in the head of the sperm whale, used formerly as a lubricant.
- ‘Upon his return from his whaling voyages, his ships were laden with typical whaling ship cargo like sperm oil and whalebone.’
- ‘This carbon oil replaced coal oil used in lamps, made from coal, and sperm oil which was becoming scarce.’
- ‘In a famous passage, he squeezes the hands of his fellow labourers in a tub of lumpy sperm oil, which they are kneading back to its proper, fluid consistency.’
- ‘Wallace & Diller's Drug and Chemical Store had just received a fresh supply of sperm oil, fishing rods, and French cologne.’
- ‘But then, Melville goes on to proclaim that the sweetest oil of all, is pure unadulterated sperm oil - the ‘ointment of kings’, and so on.’
- ‘Carrying out the ruse that the Catalpa's mission was one of whaling, Anthony's men offloaded 210 barrels of sperm oil, a catch worth over $12,000, at the Azores in late October 1875.’
- ‘Progressive increases in population, number of registered vessels, and annual barrels of imported sperm oil signify the port's growth and its expanding role in international commerce.’
sperm oil/ˈspərm ˌoil/
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