Trivia

Hard

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

Baseball Players
Organists
Surgeons
Police Officers
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

Easy

The Process Of Inserting Reversed “Hidden” Messages In Music Is Known As?

Trivia

Hard

The Vine B. Trifoliolata Is The Only Plant In The World Known To?

Trivia

Hard

The Coldest Known Star Is Only As Warm As What?

Trivia

Hard

In The 1980s The Mobro 4000 Was Extremely Influential In What?

Trivia

Hard

The First Real Astronaut To Appear On Star Trek Was?

Trivia

Easy

The Opposite Of Albinism Is Called?

Trivia

Easy

Residential Communities Where People Live With Their Planes And Direct Runway Access Are Called?

Trivia

Hard

Who Coined The Term Meme?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Actor Who Appears In Both The Star Trek Pilot And First Aired Episode Is?

Trivia

Hard

Which Browser Was The Default For Mac OS In The Late 1990s?