Balls To The Wall




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Balls To The Wall : Phrases



Meaning:

To push to the limit, go all out, full speed


Example:

She wastes her efforts battling windmills, trying to get her husband to put the cap on the toothpaste, and put the seat down.


Origin:

From fighter planes. The balls are knobs atop the plane'sthrottle control. Pushing the throttle all the way forward, to the wall of the cockpit, is to apply full throttle.

Alternative: Early railroad locomotives were powered by steam engines. Those engines typically had a mechanical governor. These governors consisted of two weighted steel balls mounted at the ends of two arms, jointed and attachedto the end of a vertical shaft that was connected to the interior of the engine. The entire assembly is encased in a housing.

The shafts and the weighted balls rotate at a rate driven by the engine speed. As engine speed increases, the assembly rotates at a faster speed and centrifugal force causes the weighted balls to hinge upward on the arms. At maximum engine speed - controlled by these governors - centrifugalforce causes the two weighted balls to rotate with their connecting shafts parallel to the ground and thereby nearly touching the sides (walls) of their metal housing.So, an engineer driving his steam locomotive at full throttle was going balls to the wall. The expression came to be used commonly to describe something going full speed.

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