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do not spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar
proverb Do not ruin something simply to avoid some minor difficulty, inconvenience, or expense. "Ship" is thought to be a dialectical pronunciation of "sheep," and a "ha'porth" is a "halfpennyworth." Tar was used to protect sheep skin from flies (and thereby illness and death), so not having enough tar would contribute to the death of the sheep. You know your mom is going to be offended, so please call her before the dinner party—do not spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar.
slang Happenings; events; goings-on. What's the haps these days? I've been out of town for a while.
See also: hap
What's the haps?
slang What's happening? What's new? Used as an informal greeting. ("Haps" is a shortening of "happening.") Hey, Tony, what's the haps? Long time no see! What's the haps, everyone? You all have a good weekend?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
down with the haps
mod. knowing what’s happening; comfortable with what’s happening. (Streets.) Tell me what’s going on! I gotta be down with the haps.
n. things that are happening; events. (Streets.) Come in and tell me the haps.
See also: hap
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
- do not spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar
- spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar
- spoil the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar
- spoil the ship for a ha'porth/ha'penny-worth of tar
- teach a man to fish
- for want of a nail
- For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse ...
- it takes a village