One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
often in imperative Stand ready for an attack, especially one before dawn or after dark.‘orders came to the guardroom to stand to’
- ‘Ordered to ‘stand-to!’ just before dawn, the men would be assigned to stand on the fire step dug into the wall of the trench.’
- ‘‘Stand to!’ shouted the Corporal.’
- ‘All British battalions in the front line of 28th Division were ordered to ‘stand to’.’
- ‘The defenders were ordered to stand to.’
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