OA’KUM. n.s. [A word probably formed by some corruption.]
Cords untwisted and reduced to hemp, with which, mingled
with pitch, leaks are stopped.
They make their oakum, wherewith they chalk the seams
of the ships, of old seer and weather beaten ropes, when they
are over spent and grown so rotten as they serve for no other
use but to make rotten oakum, which moulders and washes
away with every sea as the ships labour and are tossed. Ral.
Some drive old oakum thro’ each seam and rift;
Their left hand does the calking-iron guide;
The rattling mallet with the right they lift. Dryden.