Origin of under-the-pump
- Also suggested has been an origin in the construction industry:Workers can be quite literally under the pump if a concrete pour is occurring and the steel reinforcing and form-work is still being finished. The concrete pump would be reaching out above the workers, who would be completing their duties at a frantic pace. Once the concrete has been delivered, the ‘pour′ must occur ASAP or it may begin to set. Hence being under the pump describes the situation of working at feverish pace to meet a specific deadline.