phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Pull it to

Posted by Smokey Stover on September 13, 2008 at 16:38

In Reply to: Pull it to posted by Nic on September 13, 2008 at 07:42:

: PULL IT TO - this is a phrase we often use when describing how much to shut a door by. It has recently caused us to ask where does the phrase originate from, after all we all know how much to pull a door to!

Obviously when you pull a door to, you pull it until it is closed or nearly so. The Oxford English Dictionary gives numerous examples from 1673 on, including some in which it is not a door that is pulled to, e.g., "895 J. M. FALKNER Lost Stradivarius xii. 188 He set down his mandoline and left the room, pulling to the curtain and shutting a door behind it." In another example it is shutters that are pulled to.

The OED does not speculate about the grammatical logic behind the phrase.