stow » stole

Chiefly in:   stole away

Classification: English – vocalized /l/

Spotted in the wild:

  • “Lemuel Horlick” was a stole-away on ship to Newfoundland, st Johns… in 1840. (Heartstone online review, Apr. 22, 2001)
  • I know that they were both born in Galway County, Ireland and Patrick came to New York, New York as a stole away on board a ship. (LaSalle County Illinois Queries, Dec. 10, 2001)
  • It had been a long journey from America aboard the container ship and as a stole away he didn’t exactly enjoy luxury accommodations aboard ship. (Aozos forum, Jan. 28, 2005)

It’s understandable why the relatively uncommon term _stow_ in _stow(-)away_ might be replaced with _stole_, based on the phrasal verb _steal/stole away_ (‘to leave furtively and stealthily’).

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/07/26 |

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