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[deep-siks] /ˈdipˈsɪks/
verb (used with object), Slang.
to throw overboard.
to get rid of; abandon; discard.
to reject, negate, or ruin:
The team deep-sixed the manager's attempt to call Sunday practice.
Origin of deep-six
First recorded in 1950-55; v. use of deep six

deep six

noun, Slang.
burial or discarding at sea.
complete rejection or ruin.
First recorded in 1940-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for deep-six


(transitive) (US, slang) to dispose of (something, such as documents) completely; destroy
Word Origin
C20: from six feet deep, the traditional depth for a grave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deep-six

deep six


"place where something is discarded," by 1921 (in phrase give (something) the deep six), originally in motorboating slang, perhaps from earlier underworld noun sense of "the grave" (1929), which is perhaps a reference to the usual grave depth of six feet. But the phrase (in common with mark twain) also figured in the sailing jargon of sounding, for a measure of six fathoms:

As the water deepened under her keel the boyish voice rang out from the chains: "By the mark five--and a quarter less six--by the deep six--and a half seven--by the deep eight--and a quarter eight." ["Learning the Road to Sea," in "Outing" magazine, Feb. 1918]
In general use by 1940s. As a verb from 1953.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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deep-six in Culture

deep-six definition

To dispose of, discard, or get rid of: “The board of directors deep-sixed the proposal without even reading it.” This phrase is derived from the noun “deep six,” meaning burial at sea and referring to the depth of water necessary for such a burial. The term was later used as slang for a grave (customarily six feet underground) and, by extension, as a verb meaning “to kill.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for deep-six

deep six

noun phrase

A grave (1920s+ Underworld)

verb phrase

To discard; jettison; throw overboard: One White House disposal crew even unblushingly planned to deep six a file in the Potomac/ If any publication is deep-sixed, it will almost certainly be ''The Car Book'' (1940s+ Nautical)

Related Terms

give something the deep six

[probably fr the combined notions of a grave as six feet deep and a fathom as six feet in depth]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with deep-six

deep six

Also,give or get the deep six. Burial at sea. For example, When the torpedo hit our boat, I was sure we'd get the deep six. This expression alludes to the customary six-foot depth of most graves. [ Early 1900s ]
Disposal or rejection of something, as in They gave the new plan the deep six. This usage comes from nautical slang of the 1920s for tossing something overboard (to its watery grave; see def. 1). It was transferred to more general kinds of disposal in the 1940s and gave rise to the verb to deep-six, for “toss overboard” or “discard.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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