American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

Run a tight ship


Strict management. A ship’s captain who doesn’t allow any dissent from his orders would be running a tight ship, so the phrase indicates a stern authority figure in a business or an endeavor. (Compare to Go by the book, Slave master, High-handed or In the driver’s seat.)

“In the movie,’Mutiny on the Bounty’, Captain Bligh runs a tight ship and will whip anyone for the least amount of resistance.”

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