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I Just Learned What "Balls To The Wall" Actually Refers To And I Feel Dirty AF

I know what you're thinking and you're WRONG!

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Basically, it's all about taking a nose dive reaaally fast. To go full speed in a fighter plane, you typically have to shift the throttle to the front of the cockpit. You can also shift another control, the joystick, to the same position to send the plane into a dive.

The front of the cockpit is also known as the firewall. Hence the "wall" part.

Nickelodeon

The firewall in computing originated from this phrase, since the front of the cockpit was supposed to protect the rest of the plane from an engine fire. Similarly, a computing firewall is supposed to provide a barrier between your computer and untrusted networks.

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As for those mysterious balls: They actually refer to the tops of the throttle and joystick, which are both typically topped with ball-shaped knobs. So shifting both balls to the (fire)wall results in a crazy dive done at maximum speed.

Some people theorize the phrase is older and actually comes from operating steam engines, but there's no real record to back this theory up.

ABC

Veterans, on the other hand, have claimed they've been using the phrase since the 1950s, and it's been recorded in use since the Vietnam War.

  1. Okay, but you definitely thought "balls to the wall" had something to do with testicles, right?

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    UM, YES. I still don't believe you.
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    Absolutely not, your mind is sullied.
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    I thought it had to do with dodge ball, tbh.
    Correct
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    I have literally no opinion about this, why do you?
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Okay, but you definitely thought "balls to the wall" had something to do with testicles, right?
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