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An expression meaning, generally, to not let anything stop you or slow you down.

But where did it come from?

I learned that a few days ago. The phrase comes from, of all unlikely places, the world of Pipe Organs. Pipe organs work by directing air through various pipes to make sound, and more often than naught there are several pipes 'connected' to one key on the organ console. However, perhaps the organist at hand only wants sound to come out of on particular pipe connected to a certain key? What's she to do? They use a lever or device that keeps the air from flowing through a certain pipe. It is called, aptly enough, a 'stop', because it stops the pipe from speaking.

Therefore, if said organist were to 'pull out all the stops' on the organ they're playing, every pipe on the organ would speak, and it would be very forceful, powerful and very very loud. So it you're doing something in a strong, powerful way, then you have pulled out all the stops!

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