What does scrimshaw mean?

Definitions for scrimshaw

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word scrimshaw.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. scrimshawnoun

    a carving (or engraving) on whalebone, whale ivory, walrus tusk, etc., usually by American whalers


  1. scrimshawnoun

    The manufacture of handicrafts by sailors on long voyages, especially as whittled from wood or bone.

  2. scrimshawnoun

    An item produced by scrimshaw.

  3. scrimshawverb

    To make an item of scrimshaw.

  4. Etymology: Origin unknown.


  1. scrimshaw

    Scrimshaw is the art or craft of carving or engraving on bone, ivory, or similar materials, traditionally done by whalers using the byproducts of harvesting marine mammals. It often involves complex and intricately detailed scenes or designs.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Scrimshawverb

    to ornament, as shells, ivory, etc., by engraving, and (usually) rubbing pigments into the incised lines

  2. Scrimshawnoun

    a shell, a whale's tooth, or the like, that is scrimshawed


  1. Scrimshaw

    Scrimshaw is the name given to scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone or ivory. Typically it refers to the handiwork created by whalers made from the byproducts of harvesting marine mammals. It is most commonly made out of the bones and teeth of sperm whales, the baleen of other whales, and the tusks of walruses. It takes the form of elaborate engravings in the form of pictures and lettering on the surface of the bone or tooth, with the engraving highlighted using a pigment, or, less often, small sculptures made from the same material. However the latter really fall into the categories of ivory carving, for all carved teeth and tusks, or bone carving. The making of scrimshaw began on whaling ships between 1745 to 1759 on the Pacific Ocean, and survived until the ban on commercial whaling. The practice survives as a hobby and as a trade for commercial artisans. A maker of scrimshaw is known as a scrimshander. The etymology is uncertain, but there have been several proposals.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Scrimshaw

    skrim′shaw, v.t. to engrave fanciful designs on shells, whales' teeth, &c.—n. any shell or the like fancifully engraved.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Scrimshaw is ranked #97671 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Scrimshaw surname appeared 186 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Scrimshaw.

    91.4% or 170 total occurrences were White.
    3.7% or 7 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    3.2% or 6 total occurrences were of two or more races.

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How to pronounce scrimshaw?

How to say scrimshaw in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of scrimshaw in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of scrimshaw in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for scrimshaw

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"scrimshaw." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/scrimshaw>.

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