pull (one) up short(redirected from pull them up short)
pull (one) up short
To cause one to abruptly stop doing something. The sudden blaring of the alarm pulled me up short on my way down the hall. News of the reduction in funding pulled our researchers up short.
pull someone up short
to cause someone to stop short. My scream pulled him up short. The sudden thought that everything might not be all right pulled Tom up short.