To slip the cable

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To slip the cable to let go the end on board and let it all run out and go overboard, as when there is not time to weigh anchor. Hence, in sailor's use, to die.
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Usage

In literature:

Sailor Ben, on the contrary, had stoutly contended that I meant to slip cable and be off.
"The Story of a Bad Boy" by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Two or three light vessels had already slipped their cables and stood out to sea, in order to discover the supposed enemy.
"The Antiquary, Volume 2" by Sir Walter Scott
Two or three light vessels had already slipped their cables and stood out to sea, in order to discover the supposed enemy.
"The Antiquary, Complete" by Sir Walter Scott
The next day Thomas was worse, and it was soon clear to everybody but 'im that 'e was slipping 'is cable.
"Lady of the Barge and Others, Entire Collection" by W.W. Jacobs
The first impulse was to slip the cables and give chase.
"The Piazza Tales" by Herman Melville
To slip the cable, to let it all go overboard, releasing the vessel.
"The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence" by A. T. Mahan
They no sooner saw the English Admiral advancing, than they began to slip their cables, and fly in the utmost confusion.
"The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. From William and Mary to George II." by Tobias Smollett
Then, giving the orders to slip the cable, and prepare to make sail, he turned to Gurr.
"Cutlass and Cudgel" by George Manville Fenn
The cable was slipped, and the frigate now began to move through the water.
"Ronald Morton, or the Fire Ships" by W.H.G. Kingston
Stand by to slip the cable!
"The Three Lieutenants" by W.H.G. Kingston
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In poetry:

I was pacing the deck of a captive ship,
That was straining its cables to get away,
From the parched up town, and its crowded slip,
To its home on the wave and its life in the spray.
"Claude" by John Hartley

In news:

Despite cable TV's supposed immunity to recessions, operators started to slip a bit during the second quarter.
Sometime during the following days, though, the cables running from her chest to the machine slipped loose.
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