American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

All hands-on deck

DEFINITION

Prepare for an emergency effort. Everybody gather together to complete a critical task. The phrase is an old navy term that ‘all hands’ (crew) must assemble on the top deck (of the ship) for orders from the captain; all hands must get to battle stations during a war. (Compare to Pull the fire alarm, Give one’s all.)

“When the huge order came into our factory it became all hands on deck to produce and ship it, even the secretary helped.”

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