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  1. #1
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    Default When in doubt, whip it out

    Hi everybody!!

    A friend said "when in doubt, whip it out" about something unclear and I haven't the faintest idea of what he meant. Any help would be welcome.

    Thanking you in advance, regards, t.

  2. #2
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    Smile Re: When in doubt, whip it out

    Turissa, tell me: did your friend elaborate on what to whip out? What did he/she do when you didn't whip something out?! It could be a reference to whipping out a reference aid, such as a dictionary?

    I have heard the expression in this country but with more selacious overtones! (If in doubt whip it out)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: When in doubt, whip it out

    Hi Shakespeare's Brother. I'm afraid that's all he said. I only thought about the comment well after he had left. Sorry, t.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: When in doubt, whip it out

    I think he is adopting the old surgeon's adage, as you quoted, meaning : 'when in doubt, operate and whip the possibly offending organ out'.

    Some people follow the adage, when in doubt, don't (do it).'

    Your friend's advice: 'when in doubt, be bold, just do it!'

  5. #5
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    Default Re: When in doubt, whip it out

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    I think he is adopting the old surgeon's adage, as you quoted, meaning : 'when in doubt, operate and whip the possibly offending organ out'.
    Actually this expression comes from the U.S. armed forces.

    Suppose you see someone coming towards you. You can't quite see the insignia on their uniform so you're not certain of their rank -- meaning you're not certain whether you are supposed to salute them.

    The expression "when in doubt, whip it out" means it's best to whip your hand out and salute. You might feel a little foolish if you accidentally salute someone when protocol doesn't require you to, but failing to salute a superior officer is extremely disrespectful.

    So the essence of the expression's meaning is "take action even if you're not certain whether you should, because failing to take action could be much worse."

    Like a lot of military expressions, it can also have a playful and mildly off-color double meaning -- in the right context, "whip it out" can also be interpreted as slang meaning "get your penis out of your pants and display it"

  6. #6
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: When in doubt, whip it out

    This is reminscent of another naval saying (I've always assumed it was the Royal Navy, but it may be used more widely): 'If it moves, salute it. If it doesn't, paint it.'

    b

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