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In the very early days, this phrase was written on a seaman's discharge to indicate that he was still a novice.  All he knew about being a sailor was just the names and uses of the principal ropes (lines).  Today, this same phrase means the opposite --- that the person fully knows and understands the operation (usually of the organization). Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 5:10 PM Day Job , & Etc. | Back to top

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