One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Get rid of or abandon an attitude or practice.‘we are going to shake out the old attitudes’
Unwind or untie a reef to increase the area of a sail.
- ‘Indeed, given his own preferences, Holderman thought he might actually have reduced sail, or at least left the night's reefs in rather than shaking them out, if only to give himself a little more time to avoid any ice his lookouts spotted.’
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