All Hands on Deck: When to Use the Popular Term “All Hands on Deck”

All hands on deck might be a term which is heard often within English conversation, but what does this idiomatic expression mean? In this article, we are going to take a look at not only the meaning of this term but also where it first came from. We will also view some examples of the term being used in a conversation.

All Hands on Deck

All Hands on Deck Meaning

When someone uses this phrase, they are saying that everybody needs to pitch in and do the task at hand.

Origin of this idiomatic phrase

The phrase all hands on deck finds its origin at sea, where the command was used when all sailors were required to assist when an emergency occurred.

“All Hands on Deck” Examples

Examples in Statements

Let’s now take a look at some examples of how the term might work in a sentence.

The first statement is being made in a news report about a fire.

  • The fire service, police, and ambulance had all hands on deck to deal with the emergency.

The next example sentence is one being said by a mother to her children.

  • Right kids, we need to get this house tidy, all hands on deck, please.

More useful examples:

  • It was all hands on deck as they worked flat out over a weekend in March.
  • With only half an hour to get everything ready, it was all hands on deck.
  • It’s all hands on deck as the crew work as a team to make the show look its best.

Conversation Examples

The phrase may be heard in many conversations, we will now take a look at some examples of things you might hear.

The first conversation is taking place in an office.

  • Person 1: “OK, we have a lot of work to do today.”
  • Person 2: “Ken can organise the workforce and hand out jobs and then it’s all hands on deck.”

The next conversation is happening in a school.

  • Person 1: “We need to get the school ready for the dance on Friday.”
  • Person 2: “Who will be doing the work?”
  • Person 1: “Everyone, we will need all hands on deck if we are going to get done in time.”

Other Ways to Say the Idiom

There are other ways in which you might say the term, let’s take a look at some things you could say in its place which carry the same meaning.

  • Everybody pitch in
  • All people must help out

All Hands on Deck Meaning | Picture

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