Balls-to-the-wall meaning

(US, idiomatic, slang) Full throttle; (at) maximum speed. [since the 1960s]
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(US, idiomatic, slang) (With) Maximum effort or commitment. [since the 1960s]
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Origin of balls-to-the-wall

  • First attested in the 1960s in the context of aviation. Probably coined by pilots whose throttle levers had round, ball-like tops, and for whom putting the "balls to the wall" (the firewall of the aircraft) meant making the aircraft fly as quickly as possible. Probably not, as sometimes suggested, from railroad jargon.

    From Wiktionary