Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Hawse, the situation of a ship's cables before the stem, when a vessel is moored by the bows.

Hence the space immediately ahead of a ship at anchor. Hawse-holes are the holes cut for the passage of the cables on each side of a ship's stem. They communicate with the forward part of the lower deck, with the quarters, that is, of the seamen; so that to say "he came into the service through the hawse-holes," is to say that he entered in the lowest capacity.