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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. Primarily heard in UK. 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 up

1. To physically support, bolster , or reinforce someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "brace" and "up." That picture frame is broken, so I braced it up with a candle to keep it from falling over.
2. To physically or mentally prepare oneself, someone, or something for something, typically something that is imminent, in an attempt to limit any adverse impact. A noun or pronoun can be used between "brace" and "up." I braced myself up for that big bump by holding onto the seat in front of me. I had braced myself up for rejection, so hearing that I'd gotten the promotion was a very pleasant surprise!
See also: brace, up

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

belt and braces

(of a policy or action) providing double security by using two means to achieve the same end. British
This meaning developed from the idea of a literal belt and braces holding up a pair of loose-fitting trousers.
2002 Digital Photography Made Easy Oddly, the manual is also on CD, which seems a bit belt and braces (though useful if you lose the original).
See also: and, belt, brace

splice the main brace

1 (in the Royal Navy) serve out an extra tot of rum. 2 serve out or start to consume alcoholic drinks. British informal
A sailing ship's main brace is a rope attached to its main spar. Splicing it (making a connection in it by interweaving strands) would have been a particularly onerous task, and the phrase probably arose from the custom of awarding sailors who did it an extra ration of rum.
See also: brace, main, splice

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 ?
However, dont forget to consult your physician before wearing this back brace so you will know the reason for your back pain.
When using one of these braces as intended, you will find that you often must hold the firearm at an odd angle to see the sights, but it is very securely mounted to your arm.
In addition, the rising incidences of orthopedic injuries in the youth, noninvasive nature of treatment with orthopedic braces and supports, and reduced reimbursements offered for orthopedic surgery in developed nations are expected to offer growth opportunities for players in the OTC orthopedic braces market.
These braces arent very common because theyre pretty big and most people arent thrilled about that cosmetically, but they do serve an important purpose.
The spokesperson also continued, "We also have other varying payment options on your Invisible braces treatment.
It turns out adults are now making up half of the patients in some orthodontic practices and enquiries for adult braces have shot up 135% since 2011.
The Brace Shop has been operating for over 15 years and is based in Boca Raton, Florida.
I really love my heart shaped braces and my friends think they look really cool," said another patient, 11-year-old Sierra McLean.
Based on products, the Asia-Pacific orthopedic braces & supports system market is segmented into knee braces and supports, foot & ankle braces and supports, spinal orthoses, and upper extremity soft goods.
Most scoliosis braces lack supporting performance data.
Offering invisible braces, fixed brace and lingual braces, there are solutions to suit everyone.
Both the 3D printed personal Ekso robotic exoskeleton and Bespoke braces for hand and wrist were recognized, with the Ekso being awarded Bronze in the Social Impact category.
A Knee braces are among the most commonly used devices when it comes to stabilizing compromised joints.
Until now, most studies of the issue have been observational and have yielded inconsistent results; only one prospective study has compared patients who wore back braces with patients who did not, the investigators said, (N.