Trivia

Hard

The Phrase “Pull Out All The Stops” Entered English By Way Of?

Police Officers
Surgeons
Organists
Baseball Players
A photo of the console of the organ at the United States Naval Academy chapel.
United States Naval Academy/Wikimedia

Answer: Organists

It would be easy to think that “pull out all the stops” entered into the English language by way of sports, given how often that phrase is used by sports announcers (and the fact that there’s even a “shortstop” position in baseball). The phrase, however, entered English by way of music—specifically through terminology used by organists.

An organ stop is a component of a pipe organ that regulates the flow of air to the pipes. There are multiple stops and skilled organists will adjust the stops to help create that multiple-instruments-playing effect that organs are known for. To “pull out all the stops” is to adjust the stops for every rank of pipes in the organ and would indicate that the organist is playing a complicated and crowd pleasing piece that requires the entire range of pipes available to them. The phrase jumped to general usage where it now means to use every available means to achieve your goal (just as the organist uses every available pipe to play the piece).

Trivia

Hard

The Most Prolific Lightning Storms On Earth Occur Where?

Trivia

Hard

Modern Domestic Apples Originated In Which Country?

Trivia

Easy

Skimmers Are Used To Capture What Kind Of Data?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Country Is The Largest Exporter Of Cigars In The World?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Of These Animals Can Secrete Stomach Acid Faster Than Any Other Animal?

Trivia

Hard

The Densest Planet In Our Solar System Is?

Trivia

Easy

Before The USB Port, Computer Users Plugged Their Peripherals Into What?

Trivia

Very Hard

Stars That Cannibalize Other Stars Are Known As?

Trivia

Hard

The Inventor Of The Water Bed Was Denied A Patent Because Of Which Sci-Fi Author?

Trivia

Hard

Unlike Water, You Cannot Sink In?