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to give the whetstone
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Whetstone \Whet"stone`\, n. [AS. hwetst[=a]n.] A piece of stone, natural or artificial, used for whetting, or sharpening, edge tools. [1913 Webster] The dullness of the fools is the whetstone of the wits. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Diligence is to the understanding as the whetstone to the razor. --South. [1913 Webster] Note: Some whetstones are used dry, others are moistened with water, or lubricated with oil. [1913 Webster] To give the whetstone, to give a premium for extravagance in falsehood. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]