To Pull Your Finger Out (Origin)

Our most common search themes:
apostrophe
semicolon
adjective
verb


What Is the Origin of the Saying "To Pull Your Finger Out"?

When you tell someone to pull your finger out, you are telling them to hurry up or to complete a task quicker. This term derives from when artillerymen would push gunpowder into the ignition chamber of their guns with their fingers and hold the powder in place by keeping their finger in the hole of the ignition chamber. (Normally, a wooden plug would be used for this purpose, but it was quicker to use a finger.) Keen to fire the weapon, the gun commander would shout pull your finger out to the powder filler just before the gun was fired.



Would you like to offer another origin for the saying "To Pull Your Finger Out"? Please tell us using this form.


More Free Help...

All the lessons and tests on Grammar Monster are free. Here's some more free help:

Follow Us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Facebook
by Craig Shrives Follow us on Google+
mail tip Sign up for our daily tip emails
Chat about grammar Ask a grammar question
Search Search this site

Buy Some Help...

Too busy to read everything on Grammar Monster? Here are the paid services we recommend to learn grammar and to keep your writing error free:

Paste your text into Grammarly's online interface for corrections and recommendations. (Free trial available)

Press F2 while using Word, PowerPoint, etc., for corrections and recommendations. (Free trial available)

Send your text to a trained editor and grammar geek for checking. (Free trial available)

Learn English (or another language) with a state-of-the-art program. (Free trial available)

Buy Our Book...

Buy "Grammar Rules: Writing with Military Precision" by Craig Shrives (founder of Grammar Monster).


More info...