WHEN A LOOSE CANNON FLOGS A DEAD HORSE THERE'S THE DEVIL TO PAY: SEAFARING WORDS IN EVERYDAY SPEECH by Olivia Isil
Here's the scuttlebutt: Barge right in and swallow the anchor, and let's chew the fat and splice the main brace till we're three sheets to the wind. Listen, you son of a sea cook, I'm tired of minding my P's and Q's. I tell you, I'm all at sea, and this is the bitter end. Nothing I can do will keep this ship on an even keel. Hell's bells! You think I didn't tell it to the old man? Delivered a broadside, I did, but he just called me a loose cannon. Maybe I caught him between wind and water. Listen, mate. You'd better bootleg a bible aboard. We're sailing under false colors, and where we're headed it's cold enough to freeze the balls of a brass monkey. It's Davy Jones's Locker I'm talking about. The crew was scraped from the bottom of the barrel. They don't know the ropes, and anyway they're deserting like rats from a sinking ship It's time to fish or cut bait, mate, or there'll be the devil to pay. No use flogging a dead horse. Let's stay armed to the teeth and look for any port in a storm. There'll be nothing but flotsam and jetsam when this tub goes down the hatch.
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