Etymology Monday! True or False: The phrase "Balls to the wall" comes from medieval-era warships, where cannonballs were stored in a central area, then brought 'to the wall' to prepare for combat.
Sounded good so I said true.
I've been wrong before. Not going to change my answer. That seems like cheating.
Love these questions! :)
I hadn't heard the aviation explanation until recently, even after an entire career in aviation where we used the term "BTTW" often. I'd always known it as a variation of "balls out", meaning give me all you've got.
It works, sort of, in aviation, but not as well, since many throttle levers aren't topped by a ball. Most steam regulators are though. There's this:
There's a pretty great picture of a Spitfire cockpit (my favorite old-timey fighter), showing the balless style throttle that has been pretty common over the years:
0/2 Not balling.
False. It's from aviation. But I wouldn't have a clue about that if someone else hadn't done a poll about it some time ago, & I looked it up.
False! It's actually from aviation, where the 'balls' refer to the knobs on the top of control sticks, and putting the 'balls to the wall' meant you were accelerating as quickly as your plane would allow. tinyurl.com/pgdazcs
It's essentially the aeronautic equivalent of "pedal to the medal."
Yep, more specifically, the throttle and prop levers had balls on them. All the way forward, or toward the firewall, is as much power you can get. Good poll
this is great. I had no idea, and your offered explanation was very plausible. I said false, but it was only because I assumed the term came from some sort of acceleration process, which this wasn't.
also, are you considering doing this as a regular thing? I like it.
I'll second Firefly5's comment. I'd absolutely love this as a regular weekly poll.
I am a fan of regular poll series...
I was considering it. I'll set myself an alarm so I remember to keep it up. :)
Yay! I love this kind of stuff! Gives you so many conversation starters!