Balls out

Posted by Barney on March 28, 2002

In Reply to: Balls out posted by TheFallen on March 28, 2002

: : : Has anyne heard the term "balls out"? It is often used in business settings when a company
: : : decides to change to a new software system. To go "balls out" means to install it and use it without
: : : worrying about the way we've always done it.

: : : Does the term come from the way the pendulum swings all the way out?

: : Um. Well. Ahhh. No.

: To go "balls out" means to throw caution to the winds and charge full-steam ahead. Without wanting to be too blunt as to the phrase's provenance, it's something which we males could do both figuratively *and* literally (though I can't think of any printable occasions when I'd do the latter), whereas the fairer sex is limited to doing it figuratively.

I believe that this expression originated with the early steam engines whose governors were a pair of spinning balls, which described a larger and larger circle as the demanded speed, and hence their rotational speed, increased to control the steam valve and hence the flow of steam from boiler to pistons.