I'm still plugging away at Moby-Dick and I'm up to chapter 85. I will probably have a weeks worth of post when I'm finished, but for now I'm fascinated with the language used in the book that is no longer used today. One word in particular, "Avast." It keeps popping up during the voyage. Since it's a word I rarely have ever heard until the I started using Avast virus protection on my computers I figured I'd look it up to get the real meaning because the word is used so freely in the book it could mean anything.
Avast means to hold in place or stop and the entomology probably comes from the Dutch phrase "houd vast" which means hold fast.