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Hands up! Gun idioms in English Posted by on Nov 30, 2021 in English Language, English Vocabulary

Hi, everyone! How is it going? The other day I was talking to an American co-worker of mine and couldn’t help but joking about his country’s obsession with firearms, with its purchase and possession even being legal in some states. All jokes aside, gun control is a hot topic in the public debate. Regardless of where one stands when it comes to that, this issue made me thik about how guns are pervasive in the English language.

So I’ve rounded up a few well-known idioms that relate somehow to the weaponry universe. When doing some research, it came to my attention that a lot of these have originated in the USA, some even dating back to the wild west. So get your guns blazing and boost your vocab in English with some gun idioms! Time to lock and load!

Get your guns blazing for some idioms! (Photo by KoolShooters from Pexels)

shotgun! to ride, call shotgun

When you call shotgun or ride shotgun, it means that you get the privilege of sitting in the front passenger seat.

  • You have to move, Timmy! I called shotgun first.
  • Sally agreed to go to the supermarket with me as long as she can ride shotgun.

dodge a bullet

To be able to avoid a negative or unpleasant situation.

  • I didn’t have time to prepare for the meeting, but luckily it was postponed. Phew, I feels like I dodged a bullet there.
  • We really dodged a bullet on that trip to the Bahamas that we missed. It seems that it’s been raining there all week.

jump the gun

To take action or start something too soon or before it is appropriate, to get ahead of oneself.

  • Let’s not jump the gun here, honey! I did well on my interview but I’m not sure I got the job yet, so it’s too soon to buy a new car.
  • I jumped the gun and told Johnny that I was getting him a dog robot for Christmas. Now the toy is sold out everywhere and I’ll have to buy him something else.

Let’s not jump the gun here, guys. We need to think this through (Photo by fauxels from Pexels)

under the gun

to feel worried or under pressure because a decision needs to be made

  • As the conflict escalates, the president is now under the gun and must take a stand before Friday.
  • We’re working under the gun, here, everyone. The deadline for this project is tomorrow evening!

straight shooter

A person who is honest, direct and gets straight to the point.

  • Jackson, you know I’m a straight shooter so I’ll just go ahead and say it: you need to change your attitude in the office otherwise you’ll job will be at stake.
  • The reason why Jessica got ahead in politics is because she is a straight shooter, she is not afraid of telling the truth.

pull the trigger

I know you like to take your time, but we have to pull the trigger (Photo by energepic.com from Pexels)

To finally take action and make something happen.

  • I know you’re afraid to pull the trigger on buying that apartament because it’s a lot of money. But I think it’s a great deal and you should do it!
  • With the number of cases rising, goverment officials should be outlining new restrictions. But no one wants to pull the trigger because elections are coming up soon.

E aí, conhecem alguma outra expressão relacionada a armas em inglês? Make sure to comment below!

E por falar em armas, lembram-se do nosso post sobre o verbo shoot (atirar)? Então refresque sua memória aqui:

Do you want a shot?

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