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rap sheet

A list of a person's criminal history. The suspect had a rap sheet a mile long due to his numerous run-ins with the police.
See also: rap, sheet

three sheets to the wind

Severely intoxicated from alcohol, to the point of finding control of one's actions or coordination difficult. Taken most likely from nautical terminology, where a "sheet" is the rope that controls the sails of a tall ship; if several sheets are loose or mishandled, the boat's movement becomes unsteady and difficult to control, like that of a drunk person. On his 21st birthday, Jeff's friends took him to every bar in town until he was three sheets to the wind.
See also: sheet, three, wind


References in classic literature ?
But the upper sheet," said Miss Ophelia, "must be brought down in this way, and tucked under firm and smooth at the foot,--so,--the narrow hem at the foot.
And he waved from empty bed to open window, then held the candle close to the tied sheet, and shrugged expressively.
Having absorbed the unwelcome thought, her mind went on with additional vigor, derived from the victory; on a sheet of paper lines of figures and symbols frequently and firmly written down marked the different stages of its progress.
Chailey, turning from the subject of sheets, dismissing them entirely, clenched her fists on the top of them, and proclaimed, "And you couldn't ask a living creature to sit where I sit
he could hear Skipper shouting loudly; also he heard the high note of the mainsheet screaming across the sheaves as Van Horn, bending braces in the dark, was swiftly slacking the sheet through his scorching palms with a single turn on the cleat.
Paul Ford roused himself, came back from the far Western town, and adjusted the sheets of paper under his hand.
The sick man himself, washed and combed, lay in clean sheets on high raised pillows, in a clean night-shirt with a white collar about his astoundingly thin neck, and with a new expression of hope looked fixedly at Kitty.
Tulliver had been a susceptible man in his conjugal relation, he might have supposed that she drew out the key to aid her imagination in anticipating the moment when he would be in a state to justify the production of the best Holland sheets.
The press marked E was unlocked; and I took out the drawer, had it filled up with straw and tied in a sheet, and returned with it to Cavendish Square.
I have agreed to do the work for forty kopecks a sheet.
It generally happened in this way: Night, clouds racing overhead, wind howling, royals set, and the ship rushing on in the dark, an immense white sheet of foam level with the lee rail.
One of them, with both elbows on the table, and a pen in her hand, was tracing characters upon a sheet of fine Dutch paper; the other, kneeling upon a chair, which allowed her to advance her head and bust over the back of it to the middle of the table, was watching her companion as she wrote, or rather hesitated to write.
He conquered a mad desire to let go sheet and tiller and to clasp her in his arms.
Lifting an edge of the sheet he pulled it away, exposing the entire body, altogether naked and showing in the candle-light a claylike yellow.
There came a plump of rain towards mid-day and the breeze died down, but it freshened again before nightfall, and Goodwin Hawtayne veered his sheet and held head for the south.