splice the mainbrace

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splice the mainbrace

nautical To issue and partake in an extra ration of alcoholic spirits, especially rum or grog, amongst members of crew aboard a sea vessel. (The mainbrace, also spelled "main brace," is a brace attached to the main yard on sailing ships. "Splicing the mainbrace" was originally the very difficult job of repairing this brace, one which earned the repairman an extra ration of spirits; eventually, this euphemistic secondary meaning became the primary one.) As part of the celebrations for her Diamond Jubilee, the Queen gave the order to all in the Royal Navy to splice the mainbrace as a gesture of good cheer.
See also: splice
References in periodicals archive ?
Splicing the mainbrace has its origins in the days of sail and refers to fixing the main brace of a sail that had broken - usually in a storm or battle.
After a gap of four years, Captain Jack Sparrow is back hoisting the Jolly Roger and splicing the mainbrace.
One can almost hear his men splicing the mainbrace before setting off for corners of the world far removed from here, want a meal at all it'll have to be in the daytime.
They'll be splicing the mainbrace in nautical places all over the country.
He hasn't tired of panto and this season Bruvvers are splicing the mainbrace with Sinbad the Sailor.
THE Royal Navy on Merseyside celebrated the Jubilee in traditional fashion by splicing the mainbrace yesterday.
Thus it was that, splicing the mainbrace, I experienced the full glory of suburbia by the sea.