Exploring History
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Exploring History

A woman lifting weights looks to her left with a skeptical expression on her face. She’s wondering what ‘balls to the wall’ means. Read on and find out. The phrase is not anatomical, but mechanical in origin.

‘Balls to the Wall’ Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does

It all started with windmills

Balls to the wall has nothing to do with testicles. Neither does balls out.

Both expressions mean working at maximum effort or speed, and the balls in question are part of a device invented in the 17th century — the centrifugal governor.

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