splice the main brace

splice the mainbrace

nauticalTo 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" originally referred to 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
'You are a charming old pensioner,' said Bella, 'and I am so happy that I wish I could make you happy, too.' Answered Gruff and Glum, 'Give me leave to kiss your hand, my Lovely, and it's done!' So it was done to the general contentment; and if Gruff and Glum didn't in the course of the afternoon splice the main brace, it was not for want of the means of inflicting that outrage on the feelings of the Infant Bands of Hope.
Not that there was time to splice the main brace ("We're not allowed to now anyway" admits Cdr Williams), the ship was immediately tasked to hunt down Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi's son, who reportedly fled via the sea.
"When she had completed the inspection, she gave the order we had been eagerly anticipating: Splice the Main Brace, said Stephen..
* Splice the Main Brace: an extra tot issued to celebrate a victory
Guests on a new "canal cruising hotel" will be able to splice the main brace thanks to a Midlands law firm.
Antonia Pompa, Walsall Council events and festivals co-ordinator, said: "This is a cracking chance to come and spend a few Spanish doubloons and splice the main brace in a night of fun to remember for all the family.
A-harrrr me hearties, splice the main brace and shiver me timbers, Sid Meier's Pirates has just been spotted off the starboard bow.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, 12A JOHNNY DEPP and his band of inept pirates splice the main brace and play it for laughs in this daft romp.
This month's theme is even more nautical than usual so splice the main brace and don your very best sailor suits.
In 1773, Lieutenant James Burney commanding HMS Adventure (part of Captain Cook's squadron in the South Pacific), introduced the glorious naval order known as "Splice the Main Brace." The term itself derives from the drill associated with trimming the mainsail of a square-rigged man-of-war--a strenuous task in good weather, a dangerous one in foul.
Splice the Main Brace: A double tot for a job well done.