Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Betty Vanderwielen

Pull Out All the Stops

Funky Phrases


SEELEY LAKE – If Jack from Team A is running neck and neck with Jill from Team B and they are 50 yards from the finish line, Jack’s coach might yell, “C’mon, you can do it. Pull out all the stops.” But why is Jack’s coach yelling about stops, when clearly his intent is for Jack to go, in fact to increase his speed.

The origin of the phrase, pull out all the stops, actually has nothing to do with racing. It has to do with playing a pipe organ.

Miles Hoffman’s “The NPR Classical Music Companion” calls the organ a hybrid instrument, a conjoining of wind and keyboard instrumen...

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