Up to eleven

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Description:
"Up to eleven" or "these go to eleven" is an idiom from popular culture which has come to refer to anything being exploited to its utmost abilities, or apparently exceeding them, such as a sound volume control. Similarly, the expression "turning it up to eleven" refers to the act of taking something to an extreme. In 2002 the phrase entered the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary with the definition "up to maximum volume." by Alan Hamilton Times Online September 26, 2002

Original scene from This is Spinal Tap

The phrase was coined in a scene from the 1984 mockumentary/rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap by the character Nigel Tufnel, played by Christopher Guest. In this scene Nigel gives the rockumentary's director, Marty DiBergi, played by Rob Reiner, a tour of his stage equipment. While Nigel is showing Marty his Marshall guitar amplifiers, he points out one in particular whose control knobs all have the highest setting of eleven, unlike standard amplifiers, whose volume settings are typically numbered from 0 to 10, believing that this numbering actually increases the volume of the amp ("It's one louder"). When Marty asks why the ten setting is not simply set to be louder, Nigel pauses, clearly confused, before responding, "These go to eleven". IMDB.com

This film scene...
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