Balls against the Wall (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Balls against the Wall"?

To operate balls against the wall means to operate at full capacity.

In many aircraft, the throttle and other levers have ball-shaped grips. When a pilot is operating balls against the wall, his control levers are all pressed up against the cockpit dials. With all levers pushed as far forward as possible, the aircraft is operating at full capacity.

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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs