There are a number of phrases from the organ world that have integrated themselves into our general English lexicon. Two come to mind immediately.
The first is: “pulling out all the stops”. This of, course, refers to the stop controls on classical organs that operate by pulling out draw knobs located on either side of the keyboards. Pulling out all of them gives full organ sound, and thus has come to mean “giving full effort” at a task.
The second is: “all the bells and whistles”, referring to the toy counter sound effects (bells, whistles, horns, sirens, etc) featured on a theatre organ. Something with all the bells and whistles has come to mean “fully loaded with accessories”.
Are there any more organ terms out there being used by the general public?
If you know of any, please let us know!
“Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Theatre Pipe Organs, but Were Afraid to Ask”
Credits: John Becica writer/compiler/editor, with the assistance of Dave Kopp, Bob Martin, Don Hansen, Bob Molesworth, and Tony Rustako
Last Revision 4/23/18 (Added Section on Playing Differences)