splice the mainbrace

splice the mainbrace
   to drink intoxicants
   The mainbrace was the rope which held the mainsail in position, and a vessel was in peril if it broke. In rough weather splicing it, or mending it by joining up the severed parts, was a hazardous operation and the seamen received as a reward a large tot of rum. The custom continues under the same style in the modern navy, to celebrate some national event. For the rest of us, splicing the mainbrace is more likely to involve whisky or gin and tonic than rum:
    Having, I hope, splic'd their Main-Brace well. (Pynchon, 1997 — sailors had been drinking ashore)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Splice the mainbrace — is an order given aboard naval vessels to issue the crew with a drink. Originally an order for one of the most difficult emergency repair jobs aboard a sailing ship, it became a euphemism for authorized celebratory drinking afterward, and then… …   Wikipedia

  • splice the mainbrace — (naut sl) 1. To serve out an allowance of alcoholic spirits 2. To partake of alcoholic spirits • • • Main Entry: ↑splice …   Useful english dictionary

  • Splice the mainbrace — Épissure courte : deux cordages torsadés sont connectés en repiquant chaque brin dans l autre cordage …   Wikipédia en Français

  • splice the mainbrace — verb To have a drink …   Wiktionary

  • Splice — may refer to:* Connection of two or more pieces of linear material: ** Rope splicing, joining two pieces of rope or cable by weaving the strands of each into the other ** Eye splice, the best method of creating a permanent loop in the end of… …   Wikipedia

  • mainbrace — /ˈmeɪnbreɪs/ (say maynbrays) noun 1. a pennant and tackle secured to each end of the mainyard and led down to the main deck, used to haul the yard round to trim the mainsail to the wind. –phrase 2. splice the mainbrace, Colloquial a. to order the …   Australian English dictionary

  • mainbrace — mainˈbrace noun The brace attached to the mainyard (see also ↑splice) • • • Main Entry: ↑main …   Useful english dictionary

  • Grog — The word grog refers to a variety of alcoholic beverages. The word originally referred to a drink made with water or small beer (a weak beer) and rum, which was introduced into the Royal Navy by British Vice Admiral Edward Vernon on 21 August,… …   Wikipedia

  • Glossary of nautical terms — This is a glossary of nautical terms; some remain current, many date from the 17th 19th century. See also Wiktionary s nautical terms, Category:Nautical terms, and Nautical metaphors in English. Contents: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R …   Wikipedia

  • Rum — This article is about the beverage. For other uses, see Rum (disambiguation). Rum display in a liquor store …   Wikipedia

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