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BitofStick4

Joshamee Gibbs and Jack Sparrow were known to use the phrase.

"They've stashed treasure chests about. Take what you can...give nothing back."
Jack Sparrow[src]

"Take what you can, give nothing back" was a phrase used during the Age of Piracy. Used when a sailing crew were pulling a ship into a dock, it was a command to take advantage of the ocean swells, as the tide pushes the ship closer, you pull on the ropes ("take what you can") and then hold them fast ("give nothing back"),[1] or alternatively to pull in as much slack as you can and don't let it go.[2] It also seemed to be used as a "pirate toast"[3] or to wish luck or good will, generally when individuals parted ways or the object of the expression was facing some sort of imminent challenge.[4]

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Behind the scenes[]

"The toast they do here came from the crew of the Lady Washington. When they're pulling into a dock, 'Take what you can, give nothing back' means pull in as much slack as you can and don't let it go. So it's an actual nautical reference that was a perfect pirate toast."
Ted Elliott[src]

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