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like rats abandoning a sinking ship

With great haste and having only personal wellbeing in mind. (Typically said of people who begin abandoning something or someone that is failing or about to fail.) I knew the business was doomed when employees started quitting en masse, like rats abandoning a sinking ship. Like rats abandoning a sinking ship, the disgraced athlete's corporate sponsors began pulling their sponsorships one after another.
See also: abandon, like, rat, ship, sink

with wild abandon

With rash, unrestrained impulsiveness, enthusiasm, or zeal. Ever since my brother got that car for his birthday, he's been motoring around at night with wild abandon. The insurgents set upon the town and began firing their weapons with wild abandon.
See also: abandon, wild

with reckless abandon

With rash, unrestrained impulsiveness, enthusiasm, or zeal. Ever since my brother got that car for his birthday, he's been motoring around at night with reckless abandon. The insurgents set upon the town and began firing their weapons with reckless abandon.
See also: abandon

abandon hope, all ye who enter here

A message warning one about a hopeless situation from which there is no return. The Italian version of this phrase appears in Dante's Divine Comedy as the inscription on the entrance to Hell. The phrase is most often used humorously. I'll never forget my first day as an intern and the sign above my cubicle that said, "Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here."
See also: abandon, all, enter, here, who, ye

abandon (oneself) to

To allow oneself to enjoy something fully. On the chilly fall day, Maria abandoned herself to the comforts of hot tea and a warm blanket.
See also: abandon

abandon ship

1. Literally, to escape from a sinking ship. We had to abandon ship after the collision with the rocks tore a hole in the hull.
2. By extension, to leave a failing organization or bad situation. Amid rumors that the company was filing for bankruptcy, the employees started to abandon ship.
See also: abandon, ship

jump ship

1. To suddenly abandon one's post on a ship, as of a sailor. No one has been able to find that missing sailor, so they think he probably jumped ship.
2. By extension, to suddenly abandon any post or task. I can't believe he resigned and jumped ship before bringing about the big changes he promised.
See also: jump, ship

with gay abandon

With rash, unrestrained impulsiveness, enthusiasm, or zeal. Ever since my brother got that car for his birthday, he's been motoring around at night with gay abandon. The insurgents set upon the town and began firing their weapons with gay abandon.
See also: abandon, gay

rats abandon a sinking ship

The least loyal, trustworthy, or dependable people will be the first to begin abandoning a failing endeavor. Times of crisis will test the loyalty of the people you've hired. Rats abandon a sinking ship, while the people worth holding onto the most will stay until the very end.
See also: abandon, rat, ship, sink

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

Prov. If you come in, be prepared for the worst. (Describes a hopeless situation or one somehow similar to hell. Often used jocularly. This is the English translation of the words on the gate of Hell in Dante's Inferno.) This is our cafeteria. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!
See also: abandon, all, enter, here, who, ye

abandon oneself to something

to yield to the comforts or delights of something. The children abandoned themselves to the delights of the warm summer day.
See also: abandon

abandon ship

1. Lit. to leave a sinking ship. The captain ordered the crew and passengers to abandon ship.
2. . Fig. to leave a failing enterprise. A lot of the younger people are abandoning ship because they can get jobs elsewhere easily.
See also: abandon, ship

abandon someone or something to someone or something

to leave a person, living creature, or thing to the care of someone or something; to give up someone or something to someone or something. (Usually with the thought that the abandoned person or thing will not receive the best of care.) They had to abandon the dogs to the storm.
See also: abandon

jump ship

1. Lit. to leave one's job on a ship and fail to be aboard it when it sails; [for a sailor] to go AWOL. One of the deckhands jumped ship at the last port.
2. Fig. to leave any post or position; to quit or resign, especially when there is difficulty with the job. None of the editors liked the new policies, so they all jumped ship as soon as other jobs opened up.
See also: jump, ship

Rats abandon a sinking ship.

 and like rats abandoning a sinking ship
Prov. You can tell when something is about to fail because large numbers of people begin to leave it. (Can imply that the people who leave are "rats," that is, selfish and disloyal.) Jill: The company next door must be going bankrupt. Jane: How do you know? Jill: All its employees are resigning. Rats abandon a sinking ship.
See also: abandon, Rat, ship, sink

jump ship


abandon ship

COMMON If you jump ship or abandon ship, you leave an organization because you think it is going to fail or because you want to join a rival organization. Landau had jumped ship by the time the company collapsed. For weeks he worked eighteen-hour days, pleading with his staff not to abandon ship. Note: If sailors jump ship, they leave their ship without permission and do not return.
See also: jump, ship

jump ship

1 (of a sailor) leave the ship on which you are serving without having obtained permission to do so. 2 suddenly abandon an organization, enterprise, etc.
See also: jump, ship

with gay aˈbandon

(old-fashioned) without thinking about the results or effects of a particular action: Although she was nervous at first, she was soon singing and dancing with gay abandon.
Gay here means ‘happy and without cares’.
See also: abandon, gay

jump ˈship

1 (of a sailor) leave the ship on which you are serving, without permission: Two of the sailors jumped ship in New York.
2 leave an organization that you belong to, suddenly and unexpectedly: When they realized that the company was in serious financial trouble, quite a few of the staff jumped ship.
See also: jump, ship

abandon to

1. To desert someone or something in some situation: Because it was too dangerous for us to save our sinking boat, we had to abandon it to the storm's waves.
2. To allow someone to accept or enjoy something without resisting it. Used reflexively: At the amusement park I abandoned myself to the excitement of the roller coaster rides.
See also: abandon

rats abandon a sinking ship

Smart (and disloyal) individuals will desert a failing enterprise before it is too late. This observation was made long ago about rats, which would remain on board devouring a ship’s stores in the hold until the ship foundered in a storm or ran aground; then they would disappear so as not to be drowned. The transfer to human desertion was made before 1600; in some cases it was a ship they abandoned, in others a house about to collapse. “It is the Wisdome of Rats that will be sure to leave a House somewhat before its fall,” wrote Francis Bacon (Essays, 1597).
See also: abandon, rat, ship, sink
References in periodicals archive ?
(54) If she wishes, the wronged landowner will be able to obtain injunctive relief forcing the erstwhile abandoner to remove the unwanted property.
The need to secure the permission of landowners before disposing of unwanted personal property makes most cases commonly classified as abandonment operate in reality as conveyances, either gifts or sales or, in cases where the abandoner must pay the landowner to accept the unwanted property, reverse sales.
The importance of the abandoner's intent derives from the need to keep abandonment conceptually distinct from other mechanisms of terminating ownership rights, such as forfeiture and conveyances.
The production of more offspring (magpies as well as cuckoos) by acceptors as compared with abandoners and ejectors suggests that acceptors may have a higher reproductive investment.
In conclusion, magpies that respond to parasitism by great spotted cuckoos by accepting the parasite egg do not have lower reproductive success than ejectors or abandoners, because ejection frequently results in nest predation by the brood parasite.
Obviously, if the property is abandoned in San Francisco, right outside the abandoner's home, then a San Francisco resident has a much better chance of claiming the property than someone from Little Rock.
(193) For instance, if the remedy for abandonment is the imposition of continued tax liability on the abandoner, then a Pigouvian tax--which could be imposed on a landowner while she still possesses and has an economic interest in the property--will always be superior to a remedy that tries to extract tax revenue from an owner who has left the property behind.
(217) Such a strategy represents a partial embrace of abandonment, permitting the practice but requiring a lingering legal relationship between the abandoner and the abandoned resource.
(232) What the thwarted abandoner therefore must do is either incur the transaction and decision costs associated with a sale or gift to a willing recipient, or engage in an elaborate kabuki performance with a faux adverse possessor, whereby the abandoner pretends that she objects to the "trespasser's" entry.
Forrester researchers also note the importance of identifying potential abandoners and keeping them on track by, for example, displaying a pop-up message that reminds them of the product's benefits.
"While many of these tactics are centered on getting applicants to complete the application, it is also important to have abandonment strategies to win back abandoners before they leave the application," Strothkamp said.
"Timely follow-up with abandoners is vital to a successful abandonment strategy because abandoners, especially intenders, are the lowest of the low-hanging fruit," Strothkamp said.
In the end, then, the fact that Marguerite Le Riche's husband was a Catholic may have more to do with his relative absence from the account of her death than Protestant martyrologists' desire to portray women as "passive 'abandoners'" who remained true to their domestic roles even while dying for their faith.
The lineup includes Feet First and Leap to Your Feet Appalachian Dance teams, Kentbased BigginHillbillies, Cup O'Joe from Northern Ireland, Rip Roaring Success (consisting of one Baker's Fabulous Boys, and two Jaywalkers), the Czech band Sunnyside, multi-instrumentalist Stompin Dave Allen (described as one of the best), Reckless Abandoners and Flats and Sharps (who have come far since busking in Penzance).