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[mawl-stik] /ˈmɔlˌstɪk/

a long stick used by artists to steady the hand holding the brush

“light stick used by painters to support the painting hand,” 1650s, from Dutch maalstok, literally “painting stick,” from mallen “to paint,” from Proto-Germanic *mal- (cf. Old Norse mæla, Old High German malon “trace, draw, paint,” German malen “to paint”), from mal “spot, mark, stain,” perhaps from the same root as Greek melas “black” (see melanin), but the original sense is not color but marking. With stock “stick” (see stock (n.1)).


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