Break the Ice In the days when American commerce depended largely on rivers, winter s ice caused a lot of problems. Frozen rivers could trap even the largest ships carrying goods into major cities, and people knew that business wouldn t get back to full throttle until the ice was broken.

Deadline

During the Civil War, prison camps had rails that ran a specified perimeter. Guards had orders to shoot on sight, and without question or warning, any prisoner who crossed that line (the deadline). Most notably, this was the case at Camp Douglas, a prison for Confederate POWs in Chicago, Ill.

(Runs a) tight ship: The sea vessels of the old days depended on wind, and harnessing that power required sails that could capture it. Ropes that were too loose would cause the sails to flap limply in the wind (known in nautical circles as luffing ).

Jerry Built (also Jerry Rigged) '