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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!
See also: damn, torpedo

torpedo juice

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!
See also: juice, torpedo
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.’”
See also: ahead, damn, full, steam
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Global manufacturers from France, Sweden, Russia and Germany have been issued tenders for the heavyweight torpedoes for the Navy.
Damn the Torpedoes is my opportunity to cut out the middle-man, creatively speaking.
"Being on the receiving end of more than 20 torpedoes is not a natural state for a submariner," said Lt.
''Given that the torpedoes are not ours, isn't it clear there is only one country that would attack a (South) Korean naval ship?'' it quoted an investigator of a joint investigation team as saying.
The agreement covers support and maintenance for the heavyweight Spearfish torpedoes that arm Britain's submarine fleet, as well as lightweight Sting Ray torpedoes which are carried on Royal Navy ships and helicopters and RAF Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft, the Ministry of Defence said.
This is always a hush-hush business when it comes to torpedoes. However, an Atlas official said that if, from a range of 20 km, a DM2 A4 is fired towards a frigate fleeing at a rate of 30 knots that target will meet with bad news within 30 minutes.
Midland defence and aerospace computing specialist Radstone Technology has landed a $26.7 million (pounds 14.59 millon) deal from US firm Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems for advanced submarine-launched torpedoes.
Shouted through a trumpet was the reply "Torpedoes!"
On 1 May 1951 during the Korean War, VA-195 pilots flying AD-4 Skyraiders delivered aerial torpedoes on the heavily defended and strategically positioned Hwachon Dam, right.
ONR is funding several anti submarine warfare technologies that can be used on unmanned vehicles, or to defend against torpedoes.
The coming era of drifters, gliders, and scientific torpedoes is poised to greatly enhance oceanographers' power to gather data, thereby transforming isolated snapshots into full-length feature films.
THE Kursk nuclear submarine tragedy that killed 118 crewmen was caused by the explosion of fuel in one of its torpedoes, the Russian governmental commission investigating the accident has found.
Officials give the firmest confirmation yet that the explosion was caused by a failure of one of the Kursk's torpedoes. Navy Commander Vladimir Kuroyedov was quoted by Interfax as saying the problem might have been with the torpedo's fuel, which was "in constant motion and its contact with certain metals may have the most unpredictable consequences".
A few minutes later the SS Aguila was struck by two torpedoes, and sank within two minutes.