A man does not get his hands out of the tar by becoming second
mate. A second mate is expected to put his hands into the tar bucket
for tarring the rigging, like the men below him. The first mate is
exempt from this dirty work. The rigging is tarred by the hands, and
not by brushes.
(2 syl.). Paraguay tea is so called from maté, the vessel in
which the herb is in Paraguay infused. These vessels are generally
hollow gourds, and the herb is called yerba de maté.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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