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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!

We've all heard of the phrase "balls to the wall," right?

AND we all thought it referred to testicles somehow, right?

In my mind, I always pictured it looking something like dudes twerking upside down.

Or, like, some accidental crotch-meets-wall incident involving a trampoline.

If not, maybe a gruesome punishment involving hammers, nails, and a lot of blood?

BUT NO. If you thought any of these things, you'd be wrong! The expression actually has to do with...military aviation.

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.

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.

Either way, the phrase "balls to the wall" never actually referred to male anatomy, though the association may be why the phrase became so popular.

Personally, I think we, as a society, need to cleanse our souls and appreciate how cool fighter planes are.