Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
damn the torpedoes
To press on with a task or current course of action regardless of apparent risks or dangers. Attributed to David Farragut of the United States Navy during the American Civil War, usually paraphrased as "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" The actual order (if it ever existed) was: "Damn the torpedoes! Four bells. Captain Drayton, go ahead! Jouett, full speed!" I don't care that it might bankrupt the company! Damn the torpedoes and get it done already!
A low-quality alcoholic beverage made by soldiers during World War II. Grain alcohol was extracted from torpedoes (among other things), hence the expression. I can't drink any more of this torpedo juice, it's disgusting!
1. and sub and hoagy and torpedo and grinder and poor boy and hero n. a long sandwich containing many different foods. (Sometimes many feet long. It is cut into smaller segments for serving a group. Usually contains sliced meats and cheese, as well as tomatoes and onions. Terms vary depending on where you are in the country.) He ordered a submarine, but he couldn’t finish it.
2. n. a large marijuana cigarette. Look at the size of that sub!
3. n. [menstrual] tampon. My God! I’m out of submarines!
1. n. a drink containing chloral hydrate; a knockout drink. Marlowe signaled the bartender to give the stoolie a torpedo.
2. Go to submarine sense 1
damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead
Proceed at once, no matter what. This cliché is a quotation of Admiral David Glasgow Farragut’s order during the Civil War, at the battle of Mobile Bay (August 5, 1864). It has been repeated ever since, under a variety of circumstances. Thus, the novelist Robert Ludlum used it in Apocalypse Watch (1995): “If this administration can root out the Nazi influence . . . It’s damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead.” Similarly, Nevada Barr used it in Burn (2010): “Your definition of ‘careful’ is vaguely analogous to most people’s definition of ‘damn the torpedoes.’”