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From whale +‎ road, after Old English hranrād.


whale-road (plural whale-roads)

  1. (obsolete, poetic) The sea, the ocean.
    • 1907, John Gibb, on Beowulf, published in The Children's Hour, volume 4, page 3:
      [] and his name was called Scyld. He grew to man's estate, and became a mighty king, and subdued the peoples under him. All the neighboring peoples across the whale roads obeyed Scyld.
    • 1999, Beowulf, translation by Seamus Heaney:
      In the end each clan on the outlying coasts / beyond the whale-road had to yield to him / and begin to pay tribute. That was one good king.