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Related to Masts: mizzen, sail, spar

nail (one's) colors to the mast

To refuse to cease or surrender. Because lowering a ship's flag was a customary indication of surrender, this nautical phrase emphasizes the resolve of a ship's crew. We will nail our colors to the mast and fight on—they will never capture us! We're going to have a tough time beating this team now that they are playing with such determination. I fear they've nailed their colors to the mast.
See also: color, mast, nail

at half-mast

 and at half-staff
[of a flag] halfway up or down its flagpole. The flag was flying at half-mast because the general had died. Americans fly flags at half-staff on Memorial Day.

nail your colours to the mast

  (British & Australian) also nail your colors to the mast (American & Australian)
to publicly state your opinions about a subject Nobody knows which way he's going to vote because he has so far refused to nail his colours to the mast.
See nail colours to the mast, show in true colours
See also: colour, mast, nail

be at half-mast

  (British humorous)
if someone's trousers are at half-mast, they are too short His hair was dirty and his trousers at half-mast.

at half-mast

Halfway up or down, as in The church bells tolled off and on all day and the flags were at half-mast. This term refers to placing a flag halfway up a ship's mast or flagpole, a practice used as a mark of respect for a person who has died or, at sea, as a distress signal. Occasionally the term is transferred to other objects, as in Tom's pants were at half-mast as he raced around the playground, or The puppy's tail was at half-mast. [First half of 1600s]
References in classic literature ?
I had no mast or sail in mine, but I made a mast out of a spare oar and hoisted a boat-awning for a sail, with a boat-hook for a yard.
Full planning permission is needed for the mast because it is too high for the company to use its "permitted development" rights.
He added: ``People are genuinely concerned these masts can be harmful
Mobile phone masts have been at the centre of controversy for several years because of the health fears that surround them.
A PRESSURE group campaigning against the erection of mobile phone masts near their homes say masts used for police communications may have a negative effect on the human brain.
Graham Hill, of surveyors James Barr which specialises in putting in applications for masts, said: "They are in all sorts of locations from greenfield sites to industrial estates to city centre rooftops.
However, Cllr Colbert told the Daily Post the party would not be in favour of masts being placed on schools.
The study has been welcomed due to the concern mobile phone masts have been causing in communities around the country.
The group also says that it is proving increasingly difficult to get the telecommunications regulatory body, ComReg, to disclose the location of the masts throughout the county.
THE Mayor of Kerry has claimed that Telecommunications giants such as Vodaphone and O2 should be forced to pay levees for the erection of mobile phone masts in the county.
She said if local people wanted to have the radio waves from masts measured they could contact Ofcom (www.
Research interests: development of guyed-mast structures, non-linear analysis of the cables, guyed masts.
We already have lots of masts around here, why accept any more in our little community?
Planning officials said that with the T-mobile mast in place a precedent had been set and there were no grounds to refuse the mast.
A CRUCIFIX made from the twisted remains of one of Rugby's fallen telephone masts is taking pride of place in a graveyard.