to flog the glass

Quick Reference

An expression used on board ship to indicate attempts to speed up the passage of a watch in the days when it was timed by the half-hour sand-glass. The run of the sand was supposed to be quickened by vibrating the glass, and when weary watchkeepers towards the end of their watches shook the glass to make the sand run out more quickly, they were said to flog the glass.

See also warm the bell, to.

See also warm the bell, to.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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