Well here’s something I did not know! The phrase “pull out all the stops” actually originates the world of pipe organs!

A stop, or a draw bar” is a devices which are used to regulate the instrument’s sound by selecting which sets of pipes are active at a given time. If you pull out ALL the stops on an organ, you get ALL the sounds!

So you can see the correlation between the literal and the idiom versions of the phrase.

Organist Anna Lapwood, in the video above, does a GREAT job of explaining it all and showing us what an organ sounds like after pulling out all the stops. Literally.