up to eleven

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From a scene in the mockumentary This is Spinal Tap (1984), in which a musician shows off a guitar amplifier with setting knobs that go from zero to eleven, rather than the standard zero to ten.


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up to eleven

  1. (idiomatic) Beyond the maximum possible threshold
    • 1997, Matthew Branton, The Love Parade, Hamish Hamilton (1997), ISBN 9780241137574, page 60:
      She and River looked at me hard; but I lowered my eyes and leaned forward, with the nonchalance turned up to eleven, extinguished my cigarette, made eye-contact and nodded curtly.
    • 2008, Tim Pratt, Poison Sleep, Bantam Spectra (2008), ISBN 9780553904734, page 267:
      Flying is like motion sickness turned up to eleven, []
    • 2013, Mark Mason, Move Along, Please, Random House Books (2013), ISBN 9781847947109, unnumbered page:
      As we reach the city today, rush hour has been turned up to eleven, so there's plenty of waiting in traffic.