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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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    #1

    Shooting from the lip vs shooting in the foot

    I came across such a sentence in the newspapers: "Shooting from the lip is entirely his choice but shooting himself in the foot as a result could affect his nation too." What do "Shooting from the lip" and "Shooting himself in the foot" mean?

    Thank you.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Shooting from the lip vs shooting in the foot

    If you shoot from the lip, you attack people with what you say.

    If you shoot yourself in the foot you do something, usually intended to harm others, that harms you.

  3. Skrej's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Shooting from the lip vs shooting in the foot

    I understand 'shoot from the lip', but it doesn't sound very natural to me. I can't recall ever hearing it before.

    It's certainly not as widely used an idiom as 'shooting yourself in the foot'.

    There is also 'shoot from the hip', which is also widely used, meaning to react carelessly or without thought. I almost have to wonder if that's what the author was trying to say.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Shooting from the lip vs shooting in the foot

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    There is also 'shoot from the hip', which is also widely used, meaning to react carelessly or without thought. I almost have to wonder if that's what the author was trying to say.
    I wondered about that but I think the change from 'h' to 'l' was deliberate. Like you, I understood it immediately. I'd not come across it before, but I thought I might just have missed it. It might even catch on. It's more effective/appropriate, in my opinion than the original for some of the politicians around on both sides of the pond these days.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 11-Sep-2016 at 22:37.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Shooting from the lip vs shooting in the foot

    I always took "to shoot from the lip" to be a humorous punning twist on "to shoot from the hip", but I can't be bothered tracking down their etymologies.

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Shooting from the lip vs shooting in the foot

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I always took "to shoot from the lip" to be a humorous punning twist
    So you have come across the 'lip' version before?

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Shooting from the lip vs shooting in the foot

    Yes, I've heard it used for politicians and people in public life for many years.
    (Maybe I will track it down).

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