A pack of cards, or that part of the pack which is left after
the hands have been dealt.
But whilst he thought to steal the single`ten,'
The `king' was slyly fingered from the deck.
Henry VI., v. 1.
To sweep the deck.
To clear off all the stakes. (See above.) To deck is
to decorate or adorn. (Anglo-Saxon, decan; Dutch, dekken,
I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid,
And not have strewed thy grave.
Clear the decks
—i.e. get out of the way; your room is better than your company; I am
going to be busy. A sea term. Decks are cleared before action.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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