all hands to the pumps

all hands to the pumps

Everyone available to help with a problem, or a call for those people to help. The phrase is nautical in origin. Your grandmother arrives tomorrow and the house is still a mess—I need all hands to the pumps to help me clean! All hands to the pumps! We've got to roll out this tarp before the rain starts. Now let's go!
See also: all, hand, pump

all hands to the pumps

used to indicate that everyone is urgently needed to help out in an emergency.
The expression originated in nautical parlance, and hand in that context means ‘a member of the crew’.
2004 Bolton Evening News If we find ourselves struggling and needing the points then it's going to be all hands to the pumps.
See also: all, hand, pump

all hands to the pumps

Help! The phrase comes from sailing days when a leak in the hull required immediate help in bailing out the incoming seawater. A variant is “all hands and the cook on deck,” meaning the entire ship's roster was needed in an emergency, even the cook, who was never expected to participate in mariner activities.
See also: all, hand, pump
References in periodicals archive ?
Implying he was in wintry Britain when he was in the sunny Caribbean, as the Agency did with his apparent approval, added insult to injury when it was all hands to the pumps.
IT'S a case of all hands to the pumps as Pelaw Grange starts its Easter Racing and Beer Festival today, writes John Forbes.
It's been all hands to the pumps at a South Wales fire station which played host to Serbian firefighters and Scouts.
In normal circumstances we would not have put Brian through a game with that injury, but it was a case of all hands to the pumps against Plymouth.
Melvyn Fookes, finance director with the Stafford-based firm, said: "We tell it like it is here and in an uncertain market it's all hands to the pumps.
It is all hands to the pumps for Bishop Auckland at Prescot Cables where manager Brian Honour is definitely minus suspended pair Stephen West and Chris Neil.
But added: "If we find ourselves struggling and needing the points then it's going to be all hands to the pumps.
But if we're struggling and needing points then it'll be all hands to the pumps.
The north-east circuit, who are the track with a 'Casque Mark' for supplying their racegoers with real ale, will be holding their annual beer festival over the Easter Holiday and it will, quite literally, be all hands to the pumps.
ALL hands to the pumps as Wales keep out this free-kick from Lukas Podolski; TOSHACK directs his troops in Frankfurt last night
The NHS is going to have to get all hands to the pumps and it will need all the help it can get.