nail one's colours to the mast love

nail one's colours to the mast

Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To clearly show one's support for a side or opinion in a dispute.

Etymologies

From the naval military practice of displaying one's colours (signal flags or insignia) from the mast of a ship during battle to show loyalty. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • To display one's opinions and beliefs; also, to show the intention of holding onto those beliefs until the end. The phrase originated with the practice, during nautical battles, to lower the ship's colors as a sign of submission. To nail the colors to the mast meant that you had no intention of submitting.

    Technically, since the phrase originated in England, it's correct to use the British spelling of "colours." :-)

    March 13, 2008