splice the mainbrace


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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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
"The courage, skill and determination shown by all on board have my highest commendation", he wrote, adding "Splice the mainbrace", an order given to issue the crew with an alcoholic drink.
WHILE YOU'RE THERE Head upstairs to Jack Speak Bar and splice the mainbrace with a tot of Navy-strength gin.
The Royal Navy personnel gathered at Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, to "splice the mainbrace" - a celebration involving drinking a tot of rum.
Nowadays the order to "'splice the mainbrace" is issued to mark special occasions such as a change of monarch, royal birth or royal wedding.
One tradition which is still observed is when the signal "Splice the Mainbrace" is flashed from Buckingham Palace to the fleet, which entitles every man, and probably now women, to a special tot.
Let's splice the mainbrace and celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day in true style.
Once out of dock it was a case of "splice the mainbrace" and a fond Slan leat.
Every evening we would splice the mainbrace, with Doc's cocktail the size of a powder keg, and the pirate-isms would fly again.
BRUTAL: Pirates' weapons; SPLICE THE MAINBRACE: Malcolm and Lindy at sea; ANDREW CHANTPICTURES
"Actually, it was four because, being endlessly polite, he had to offer the driver a glass too, and, pulling out the cork, he shouted: 'Splice the mainbrace'!
I derive great pleasure in the "Quiz Challenge" daily but do not quite agree to the answer to the question "What is the meaning of splice the mainbrace?"(Daily Post April 5).
What old naval custom, abolished in 1970, is recalled in the phrase 'splice the mainbrace'?
Words and phrases such as 'brightwork', 'lazy jack' and the sailor's favourite 'splice the mainbrace' are all defined and explained in the "Naval Terms" edition (which is pictured)--thankfully, as the tongue of the sailor is a language in its own right.