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in a brace of shakes

Instantly, quickly, or in an extremely short amount of time, as of a task or event. "Brace," taken from the old French for the arms' breadth from hand to hand, means twice; the phrase as a whole refers either to an old nautical term, meaning the time it takes the sail to shake twice as it takes up the wind, or else the short time it takes to shake a dice-box twice. I'll have that ready for you in a brace of shakes. We'll be there in a brace of shakes.
See also: brace, of, shake

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

brace of shakes

Instantly, quickly, or in an extremely short amount of time, as of a task or event. "Brace," taken from the old French for the arms' breadth from hand to hand, means twice; the phrase as a whole refers either to an old nautical term, meaning the time it takes the sail to shake twice as it takes up the wind, or else the short time it takes to shake a dice-box twice. Often used in the phrase "in a brace of shakes." I'll have that ready for you in a brace of shakes. We'll be there in a brace of shakes.
See also: brace, of, shake

belt and braces

A multipronged, perhaps excessively cautious, approach to try to ensure a particular outcome. Even though I'd set the alarm clock in my room, I still asked the front desk for a wake-up call. I felt I had to go belt and braces to ensure that I'm not late for the big meeting tomorrow morning.
See also: and, belt, brace

brace (oneself) for (something)

To physically or mentally prepare oneself for something, typically something that is imminent, in an attempt to limit any adverse impact. I braced myself for that big bump by holding onto the seat in front of me. I had braced myself for rejection, so hearing that I'd gotten the promotion was a very pleasant surprise!
See also: brace

brace oneself for something

 
1. Lit. to hang onto something or prop oneself against something in preparation for something that might cause one to fall, blow away, wash away, etc. Hold onto the rail. Brace yourself. Here comes another huge wave.
2. Fig. to prepare for the shock or force of something. Brace yourself for a shock. As the boat leaned to the right, I braced myself for whatever might happen next.
See also: brace

brace someone or something up

to prop up or add support to someone or something. They braced the tree up for the expected windstorm. They braced up the tree again after the storm.
See also: brace, up

brace up

to take heart; to be brave. Brace up! Things could be worse. I told John to brace up because things would probably get worse before they got better.
See also: brace, up

brace up

Also, brace oneself. Summon up one's courage or resolve, as in Brace up, we don't have much farther to go, or Squaring his shoulders, he braced himself for the next wave. This idiom uses brace in the sense of "to bolster" or "to strengthen." The first term dates from the early 1700s, the variant from about 1500.
See also: brace, up

belt and braces

BRITISH
If someone has a belt and braces approach to doing something, they take extra precautions to make sure that it will work properly. A trawl of the computer system should reveal if customers were charged too much. `It's a belt and braces approach to check for irregularities,' said the bank. He described airport security as an overly belt and braces approach, at huge cost to industry. Note: Trousers that are held up by a belt as well as a pair of braces (= two straps over the shoulder) are less likely to fall down.
See also: and, belt, brace

brace up

v.
1. To provide something or someone with additional support; prop up someone or something: We used plywood to brace up the wall paneling. The old tower would have fallen down if we hadn't braced it up.
2. To prepare or strengthen someone or something to face some challenge: We braced up the car for the road race. They gave me some encouraging words to brace me up for the interview. I'm glad you were braced up for your exams.
3. To summon one's strength or endurance; prepare to face a challenge: I spent all day bracing up for my performance in the concert that evening.
See also: brace, up
References in periodicals archive ?
The structural analog used to analyze a multiple number of webs in a row (j) braced with one CLB is depicted in Figure 1.
A third structural analog was created for the one web braced by one CLB case to determine if lumber species (as characterized by MOE and SG) affected the required brace force.
A summary of the cases studied for one web braced by one CLB is given in Table 1.
R-values for the case of one web braced by one CLB were 0.
For the case of one web braced by two CLBs shown in Figure 3, the structural analog included the same modeling assumptions as the structural analogs representing one web braced by one CLB.
Table 2 contains a summary of the cases studied for one web braced by two CLBs; the study objectives and analysis methods for each case were identical to the case of one web braced by one CLB.
Figure 5 is a line representation of an actual set of j truss chords braced by n-CLBs and one diagonal brace.
The assumed initial deflected shape of the chords was determined from Equation [5] and the same assumptions as for the cases of one web braced by one and two CLBs.
Table 3 summarizes the truss chords modeled for the investigation of j truss chords braced by n-CLBs.
The same analysis and procedures as were used for the case of a braced web were used to analyze chords with n-CLBs, except the chords were assumed to be No.
3%) and were the same as the R-value determined for the case of an SPF web braced with one CLB.
8%) for the 6-foot Southern Pine chords (two CLB bracing locations) were the same as the R-values for the case of a 2 by 4 SPF web braced with two CLBs.
To calculate the required net lateral restraining force (NLRF) using the SAP2000 analysis results for multiple truss systems braced by n-CLBs and one or two diagonals, the X-components of the joint force between each diagonal and truss chord (tabulated in Table 5) were summed taking into account the direction of the force.
3 percent for the case of one web braced by one CLB, 2.