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Main-brace

Splice the main-brace, in sea language, means to take a draught of strong drink to keep the spirits up, and give strength for extra exertion. The main-brace is the rope by which the mainyard of a ship is set in position, and to splice it, in a literal sense, when the rope is broken or injured, is to join the two ends together again.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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