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damn the torpedoes

To press on with a task or current course of action regardless of apparent risks or dangers. Attributed to David Farragut of the United States Navy during the American Civil War, usually paraphrased as "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" The actual order (if it ever existed) was: "Damn the torpedoes! Four bells. Captain Drayton, go ahead! Jouett, full speed!" I don't care that it might bankrupt the company! Damn the torpedoes and get it done already!
See also: damn, torpedo

torpedo juice

A low-quality alcoholic beverage made by soldiers during World War II. Grain alcohol was extracted from torpedoes (among other things), hence the expression. I can't drink any more of this torpedo juice, it's disgusting!
See also: juice, torpedo


1. and sub and hoagy and torpedo and grinder and poor boy and hero n. a long sandwich containing many different foods. (Sometimes many feet long. It is cut into smaller segments for serving a group. Usually contains sliced meats and cheese, as well as tomatoes and onions. Terms vary depending on where you are in the country.) He ordered a submarine, but he couldn’t finish it.
2. n. a large marijuana cigarette. Look at the size of that sub!
3. n. [menstrual] tampon. My God! I’m out of submarines!




1. n. a drink containing chloral hydrate; a knockout drink. Marlowe signaled the bartender to give the stoolie a torpedo.
2. Go to submarine sense 1

damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead

Proceed at once, no matter what. This cliché is a quotation of Admiral David Glasgow Farragut’s order during the Civil War, at the battle of Mobile Bay (August 5, 1864). It has been repeated ever since, under a variety of circumstances. Thus, the novelist Robert Ludlum used it in Apocalypse Watch (1995): “If this administration can root out the Nazi influence . . . It’s damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead.” Similarly, Nevada Barr used it in Burn (2010): “Your definition of ‘careful’ is vaguely analogous to most people’s definition of ‘damn the torpedoes.’”
See also: ahead, damn, full, steam
References in periodicals archive ?
The heavyweight torpedoes are the main weapons of any submarine operating under water against both enemy submarines and surface warships.
At the moment, the Kalvari class and the INS Arihant are relying on the old torpedoes in the naval inventory for operations.
The Black Shark torpedo was selected from among different contenders based on its performance in technical trials, its competitive price and the opinion of officers who said it was best suited for the submarines that were to be built in Mumbai.
Addressing the ceremony, General Dehqan elaborated on specifications of the new torpedo, and said, "The advanced Valfajr torpedo which is smart and enjoys the anti-deception capability, high speed and a warhead with high explosive and destruction power can surprise the targets and giant vessels within a few seconds before striking, destroying and drowning them completely."
He said that short time of preparation and firing is another specification of the torpedo which distinguishes the weapon from its counterparts and increases the tactical power and swiftness of the naval forces' surface and subsurface units.
Also, Admiral Sayyari revealed other details of the torpedo, and said the weapon enjoys increased range, precision and explosion and destruction power compared to the torpedoes which have earlier been developed in the country.
According to MoD sources, still the torpedo deal is pending as it has not received approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security.
The Russians accept that a torpedo explosion sank the Kursk, but have not said what caused it or ruled out a collision with a British submarine.
He said the Russians were testing a torpedo capable of travelling at 160mph underwater, with a range of 20 kilometres.
It contained hydrogen peroxide gas to reduce friction around its nose, and this and the torpedo's propellant fuel made a highly unstable mixture.
Of 41 torpedo planes launched by the American carriers, only six returned.
Just as it looked like or town could be saved, a Japanese submarine fired four torpedoes at the carrier and her assisting destroyer.
The principle for firing torpedoes is almost the same as for firing a rifle: "Settle down; steady; squeeze the trigger gently!' Do otherwise and the bull's-eye is missed.
Daubin had oncetold me that if he ever had an opportunity to torpedo an aircraft carrier, he would set his torpedoes to run shallow.