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Boys, don't give up the ship

Posted by ESC on February 10, 2003

In Reply to: Meaning posted by Bruce Kahl on February 09, 2003

: : What does "don't give up the ship" mean? And where does is orginate.
: : Thanks,
: : Saxon

: It means to keep on trying or working on something till you get it right. It means not to throw in the towel and give up.
: Someone else will probably post for you who said it, where and when.
: It probably was some famous British sea captain or admiral.

British my foot.

DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP - " In June of 1813, Captain James Lawrence, in command of the U.S.S. Chesapeake, engaged the British frigate H.M.S. Shannon just outside Boston Harbor. After a short, bloody battle, the Chesapeake was seriously damaged and her captain lay mortally wounded. Reportedly, Lawrence died with his last command still on his lips: 'tell the men to fire faster.fight 'til she sinks, boys.don't give up the ship.' The Americans lost the battle and were compelled to surrender the Chesapeake, but Lawrence's dying words lived on. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, who is frequently and incorrectly credited with being the source of the phrase, had Lawrence's words - 'don't give up the ship' - stitched onto a battle flag." Perry later coined his own phrase: "We have met the enemy and they are ours." From "When a Loose Cannon Flogs a Dead Horse There's the Devil to Pay: Seafaring Words in Everyday Speech" by Olivia A. Isil (International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press, McGraw-Hill, 1996)