Things that go bump in the night
is a quotation from an anonymous Scottish prayer.

From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggety beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
G
ood Lord, deliver us!


Pull out all the stops
is an expression, which means do everything possible.  Stops are knobs on a church organ attached to sliders.  Pulling them out allows air to pass through a particular set of pipes.

File:Weingarten Basilika Gabler-Orgel Register rechts.jpg

Weingarten Basilika  (Photo credit Andreas Praefcke via Wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Weingarten_Basilika_Gabler-Orgel_Register_rechts.jpg

Weingarten, Germany: Basilika St. Martin, Organ by Joseph Gabler
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Screaming pitch is a level of irritation or annoyance.  People scream from fear or pain, but someone who has reached screaming pitch would like to yell.

Sounding off  means verbally expressing views.

Not my forte is an expression meaning not my strong point.  In music forte means loud.  It comes from the Latin for strong.

Rising to a crescendo is an expression which annoys me.  As a child I used to practise my handwriting, which I found difficult to do neatly, and learn the Italian expressions my piano teacher gave me for homework at the same time.  I had a notebook into which I copied the expressions and their meanings.  Crescendo means gradually becoming louder.  How can a sound rise to a process?  Perhaps I should start a campaign to use the phrase rising to a fortissimoI prefer rising to a climax, which seems to have gone out of fashion.

Whistle blowing has a specialised meaning.  Blowing a whistle can indicate an emergency or convey instructions, even to dogs.  People walking or climbing in mountains are advised to take a whistle to summon help in case they fall.  Sports teachers often use a whistle to attract the attention of their classes.  I expect you know more than I do about when a football referee uses a whistle.  The point is that whistles are high-pitched and their sound travels further than the human voice.  So, back to whistle blowing.  Anyone who challenges authority by revealing corrupt practices is described as a whistle-blowerPeople of strong principles have sometimes lost their jobs by acting in this way.

Speaks volumes is an idiom applied to an action or a look, where the person’s attitudes or intentions are obvious without their needing to say anything.  Now, is the “volumes” here able to be measured in decibels or in pages?  I vote for pages.

Crash, bang, wallop can be heard.  Aren’t they the opening words of a comic song?  No, I’m thinking of “Flash, bang, wallop”, made famous by Tommy Steele.

Crash out is a slang expression for suddenly falling into a deep sleep.

A car crash is noisy and to be avoided.

A price crash is a sudden drop in prices.

Crack on with means make an effort to do a task.

Have a crack with is an expression used in various parts of the country for having a chat with someone.

“What’s the crack?”  Here someone wants to catch up on the latest gossip or talk of the town.

An old banger is an old motor car (automobile).  If a petrol engine backfires it makes a loud bang.

A slap hits someone or something with the palm of the hand.

To slap down is to disagree with an idea or put someone in their place.

Have a bash means try.  Bash means hit.

Beat the drum sometimes means campaign for a cause.

Did you have it drummed into you at school that children should be seen and not heard?

St Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth about clanging cymbals.
 1 Corinthians 13: 1

 

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