Damn the Torpedoes – Idiom, Origin & Meaning

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

You’re just in time! We’re about to charge full speed ahead into the fiery depths of the idiom damn the torpedoes. This powerful phrase isn’t about underwater weapons or blasphemy but rather a defiant call to take risks and push forward, no matter the odds. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Well, let’s not waste another second!

Meaning of Damn the Torpedoes

Damn the Torpedoes – Idiom Origin Meaning

The full saying is damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. We use this expression to express a determination to continue with a plan, task or action, regardless of the risks or dangers that might accompany it. It’s about boldly going where others might fear to tread.

Origin and Etymology Behind Damn the Torpedoes

Damn the Torpedoes Ngram
Damn the torpedoes usage trend.

The birth of damn the torpedoes goes back to the American Civil War. The phrase is attributed to Admiral David Farragut during the Battle of Mobile Bay. When warned about underwater mines (then known as torpedoes) in the bay, he reportedly ordered, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” pushing through to a very surprising victory. With that tidbit of history, it’s clear why this saying is now used to express the intent of going ahead with something, no matter what.

Damn the Torpedoes Synonyms

There are other ways you can get the same message across without uttering a minor curse word. Try any of these phrases instead!

  • Throw caution to the wind
  • Defy the odds
  • Take the bull by the horns
  • Face the danger
  • Brave the storm
  • Forge ahead

Examples of Damn the Torpedoes in a Sentence

Damn the Torpedoes – Idiom Origin Meaning 1

Context is everything, right? These full sentences show how you can work the expression into any conversation.

  • Despite the economic downturn, the CEO said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” and launched a new product line.
  • The team decided to damn the torpedoes and go for the win.
  • When faced with fierce competition, her motto was always, “Damn the torpedoes.”
  • Even when the project seemed impossible, they decided to damn the torpedoes and carry on.
  • “Damn the torpedoes, I’m going to ask her out,” he declared.
  • In the face of budget cuts, the community center staff said, “Damn the torpedoes, we’ll find a way to stay open.”
  • Despite the mounting difficulties, the explorers chose to damn the torpedoes and press on.
  • “Damn the torpedoes,” she said, deciding to enter the race even with a sprained ankle.
  • Damn those torpedoes! I don’t care what others say; I’m branching away from Fantasy and trying my hand at Sci-Fi writing!
  • With the odds stacked against him, he decided to damn the torpedoes and try anyway.

Damn Those Torpedoes!

And there you have it — that’s my quick guide to the saying damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Remember, sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns and forge ahead. So, whenever you’re faced with challenges, consider channeling your inner Admiral Farragut. Just be careful not to hit any actual torpedoes! Stock up on other idiom uses like this one with my other helpful guides!