Stop is a word we use everyday that has multiple meanings. Just as the word stop has multiple meanings in our everyday lives, the word also contains the same complexity within the stories and books students encounter on a regular basis.
Stop can be used both as a noun and a verb. For example, students may read stories that follow a character on a journey. The character may make a stop for a few days and rest in a foreign place. Here, stop is used as a noun. Students may also encounter stories about detectives who stop people to ask them question about a mysterious crime. In this case, stop is a verb. Another common use of the word stop in literature is when a character prevents, or stops, another character from doing something. This use of the word is also a verb.
The word stop originates from the Middle Dutch and Middle Low German word stoppen, meaning to plug up or close. Parar and detener are two Spanish verbs that encompass many of the English definitions of the word stop. These words are not cognates of the word stop; however, many synonyms of stop have Spanish cognates. For example, a synonym for stop, as in to close off an opening, is block. The Spanish cognate for block is bloquear.
The idiom “to pull out all the stops” means to make all possible efforts to successfully reach the indented outcome. You would not guess that the definition of stop in this case means to close off an opening, but the origin of this saying is linked to the construction of organs, a musical instrument. The sound of an organ is produced as wind passes through large pipes. Stops are used to control what tones are played. Pulling out all the stops in an organ allows all tones to be played at once. When a person is pulling out all the stops, they are trying to make a big impression with lots of details.