stoker-man wrote:I was 7th in line. They were out straight.
Will you translate that into Pennsylvania English?
Back in the good ol' days before electronics and all that associated junk, I'm talking way back when people were smart and burned coal..... automobile engines had basic mechanical ignition systems. They had a coil to make spark, a distributor to send that spark to a given spark plug, and a centrifugal timing advance system. When an engine is idling, the timing of when the spark plug sparks must be later than when the engine is running wide open. Inside the distributor the centrifugal system had two brass balls on little arms held down with a spring. As the engine sped up, the weight of the balls would make them swing out closer to the wall of the distributor. This action cause the distributor to turn, thus changing the timing. When the engine was at half speed, the brass balls would be at a 45 degree angle to the shaft and the timing would be halfway advanced toward full speed position. When the engine reached full speed the balls would be 90 degrees, or straight out from the shaft and the timing would be fully advanced. At this point the brass balls would be all the way out to the wall of the distributor. This is where the expression "Right straight out" came from. It means "full speed". This is also where the other slang came from that means the same thing: "Balls to the wall." (I know of nothing of frost on said balls or where other expressions may have gotten their starts.)