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Your English: Idioms: gun

Type: Article

Tim Bowen comes out with all guns blazing with his latest set of idioms

‘Australia came out with all guns blazing and England were left struggling for the rest of the match.’ If you start or come out with all guns blazing, you engage in a particular activity with a lot of determination, enthusiasm and energy. 

If you stick to your guns, you refuse to change what you are saying or doing despite the opposition of other people and criticism from them, as in ‘It’s really impressive that she has stuck to her guns despite all those personal attacks in the press’. 

In an idiom taken from sprint racing in athletics, to jump the gun means to do or say something too soon, before you know if it is suitable or correct, as in ‘It is really important that we don’t jump the gun and sign anything before all the details of the contract have been agreed’. 

If something is going great guns, it is going very well and being done with a lot of success or enthusiasm, as in ‘I hear his new business is going great guns’. 

If you hold a gun to someone’s head, you force them to do something by threatening to do something bad to them, as in ‘Union leaders insist that the government is holding a gun to their head in introducing legislation to place curbs on the right to strike’. 

A smoking gun is clear proof that someone has done something wrong or illegal, as in ‘Defence lawyers argued that the prosecution had failed to produce the smoking gun that would convict their client’.

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