all hands to the pump(s)

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all hands to the pump(s)

Everyone available to help with a problem, or a call for those people to help. Often used as an imperative. The phrase is nautical in origin. Your grandmother arrives tomorrow and the house is still a mess—I need all hands to the pump 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, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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, to
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price