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have the mouth of a sailor

To have a tendency or proclivity to use coarse, rude, or vulgar language. I don't know what you're letting your son watch on television, but, for a fifth grader, he sure has the mouth of a sailor! My grandmother is the sweetest old lady you'll ever know, but, my lord, does she have the mouth of a sailor!
See also: have, mouth, of, sailor

spend like a sailor (on (shore) leave)

To spend excessively, extravagantly, or wastefully. Now don't go spending like a sailor on shore leave just because you got a bit of a tax refund from the government. The local council has been spending like sailors on this new tram project, while other existing public transport goes into disrepair. Every time my husband's paycheck comes through, he goes out to the pubs and spends like a sailor on leave!
See also: like, sailor, spend

swear like a sailor

To use profanities or vulgar language very freely and fluently. (An allusion to the rough language presumed to be used by military personnel.) My little sister has been swearing like a sailor ever since she started learning bad words. My granny is the sweetest old lady you'll ever meet, but she swears like a sailor when she gets on the topic of something or someone she doesn't like.
See also: like, sailor, swear

like a drunken sailor

With no restraint. A merchant seaman on shore leave with months' worth of pay in his pocket tended to make up for lost time in the drinking and “play-for-pay romance” departments. Fiscal restraint was out of the question. So did miners and cowboys when they too had a chance to go to town, but the image of a sailor prevailed. The sea shanty “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?” suggests the same idea of a jocular attitude toward an inebriated mariner.
See also: drunken, like, sailor
References in classic literature ?
and he turned toward the sailors who had by this time picked themselves from the ground, none of them much the worse for his experience except the fellow who had been the cause of it, and who would doubtless nurse a sore shoulder for a week or so.
The entire ship's crew were undergoing a nervous excitement, of which I can give no idea: they could not eat, they could not sleep--twenty times a day, a misconception or an optical illusion of some sailor seated on the taffrail, would cause dreadful perspirations, and these emotions, twenty times repeated, kept us in a state of excitement so violent that a reaction was unavoidable.
She is not my mistress," replied the young sailor, gravely; "she is my betrothed.
But," asked the sailor, "where are your companions?
On their side, the sailors, seeing that long naked sword, that martial air, and the agile arm which came to the rescue of their enemies, in the person of a man who seemed accustomed to command, the sailors picked up their wounded and their pitchers.
Strickland had no papers, but that was not a matter to disconcert Tough Bill when he saw a profit (he took the first month's wages of the sailor for whom he found a berth), and he provided Strickland with those of an English stoker who had providentially died on his hands.
On the second day after the wounding of Black Michael, Clayton came on deck just in time to see the limp body of one of the crew being carried below by four of his fellows while the first mate, a heavy belaying pin in his hand, stood glowering at the little party of sullen sailors.
Then, of their own accord, two of the sailors, by the direction of the patron Yves, lowered the sail, in order that that single point upon the surface of the waters should cease to be a guide to the eye of the enemy pursuing them.
Half an hour later the sailors had returned to the Kincaid, and the steamer was slowly getting under way.
During the angry words and recriminations which followed the sailors nearly came to blows, but Clayton succeeded in quieting them; though a moment later Monsieur Thuran almost precipitated another row by making a nasty remark about the stupidity of all Englishmen, and especially English sailors.
I am afraid the Twin Sailors will never again come to you in the pearly, enchanted boat with the sail of moonshine; and the Golden Lady will play no more for you on her golden harp.
On the other hand, if you don't agree, I will go across the river, beyond your jurisdiction, and build a village for myself and my sailors, whom I shall send in the whale-boat to Guvutu for provisions.
More of the sailors took advantage of the interval to rush for'ard under the toppling fore-topmast, dive into the forecastle, and hastily pack their sea-bags.
Four of the sailors, including Saxtorph, were scraping the poop rail.
Crawling carefully along the deck, the two sailors, Ole, and myself got the heavy plate on deck and aft, where we reared it as a shield between the wheel and the fishermen.