Green’s Dictionary of Slang

marry v.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

marry Mistress Roper (v.) [the flogging at the ‘rope’s end’ that a recruit would have to endure and because such recruits handle the ships’ ropes ‘like girls’]

to enlist in the Royal Marines.

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[[UK]Brewer Dict. of Phrase and Fable 847/2: Mistress Roper. The Marines, or any one of them; so called by regular sailors, because they handle ropes like girls, not being used to them].
[UK]Sl. Dict.
marry the devil’s daughter (and live with the old folks) (v.)

to marry a termagant.

[Wonderful History and Surprising Prophecies of Mother Shipton 12: There are some Men that would not only: marry the Devil’s Daughter, but his Dam too for Money].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: It is said of one who has a termagant of a wife, that he has married the Devil’s Daughter, & Lives with the Old Folks.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
C.B. Sheridan Thoughts on the Greek Revolution 92: Our nearest approach to [this insult] is the vulgar but eloquent imprecation, ‘May you marry the devil's daughter, and may the old tolks come and live with you’.
United Service Mag. Oct. 191: Why, I’d marry the Devil's daughter and live with the ould people first.
‘Joe Miller’ Jests 86: A woman quarrelling with her husband, told him she believed if she died he would marry the devil’s daughter. The tender husband replied, ‘The law does not allow a man to marry two sisters’.
Eclectic Rev. Mar. 231: When some rumour of marriage had gone about, he broke out decidedly at once, ‘Sir, sir, marry Miss — , sir! I would as soon marry the devil’s daughter, and go home and live with the old folks’.
marry someone to the gunner’s daughter (v.) [the image is of a sailor being strapped to a ship’s gun for whipping]

to whip someone.

R. Cumberland Walloons in Posthumous Dramatic Works (1813) I 88: Why, I’d marry him to the gunner’s daughter, as they call it, warm his hide with a round dozen or two.
Byron letter 2 Jan. in Life, Letters (1839) 491/2: As mine acquaintance, the late Captain Whitby, of the navy, used to say to his seamen (when ‘married to the gunner’s daughter’) — ‘two dozen and let you off easy.’ The ‘two dozen’ were with the cat-o’-nine-tails.
R. Steele Marine Officer 134: ‘Come, sir, no slang, or I’ll marry you to the gunner’s daughter. Send a boatswain’s mate aft with the cat.’ I afterwards discovered that the captain meant he would seize him up to a gun, and flog him, which on board ship, is delicately and facetiously called being married to the gunner’s daughter.
Rambler Mar. 204: You are tied to one of the guns, — a process known in the Navy as a marriage with the gunner's daughter, — and you receive a certain number of blows with one of the aforementioned implements.
F. Chamier Jack Adams, the Mutineer 15: His father went round the fleet for stealing tobacco, and was married to the gunner’s daughter, before he was fourteen, for being drunk.
H. Meade Ride through the Disturbed Districts of N.Z. 341: ‘Jones the white horse-gelder,’ has lately ‘married the gunner’s daughter.’ This last warning (for his shoulders showed marks of a previous flagellation) induced him to transfer his talents elsewhere.
J.P. Groves Reefer & Rifleman 271: Confound his impudence; I’d like to marry him to the ‘gunner’s daughter,’ as we say at sea!
[US]‘Frederick Benton Williams’ (H.E. Hamblen) On Many Seas 228: So poor old Louis’s shirt came off with a jerk, and he was married hard and fast to the gunner’s daughter.
[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 63: He ought to be married to the gunner’s daughter.
[US]H.E. Hamblen Yarn of Bucko Mate 224: Then, for fear they might not have comprehended the gravity of their offence, we married them to the gunner’s daughter, the old fifty-six impersonating the damsel, and gave them a rattling four-dozen each.
marry the widow (v.) [trans. of Fr. sl. épouser la veuve, to be guillotined, lit. ‘to marry the widow’]

to make a mess of things.

[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 173/2: Married the widow (Frenchknown in England, 19 cent.). Made a mess of things. Derived from a man going to the guillotine, which makes widows, while the idea of marriage is suggested by the momentary association with the guillotine, which is called in French slang ‘the widow’.