"pipe down" = take it easy?


Senior Member
Where does this "pipe down" that I've heard come frome? And what does it mean? I supose it means "take it easy", and that it is taken from some sort of technical area - engineering? Does an engine "pipe down".. Hmm, I'm just guessing...
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    This comes from the old method of signalling to a ship's crew using a whistle, or pipe.

    Pipe down was a call on the pipe signalling sailors to retire for the night - hence to quieten down.

    HERE is a bosun's pipe.

    HERE are the calls the bosun would play on his pipe.
    And at the bottom is Pipe Down.
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