War, weapons and conflict Idioms (Page 2)
- Quick on the trigger
Someone who is quick on the trigger acts or responds quickly.
- Rank and file
The rank and file are the ordinary members of a company, organisation, etc, excluding the managers and directors.
- Ride shotgun
If you ride shotgun, you protect or guard something when it is being transported.
- Rise through the ranks
If someone rises through the ranks, they start in a low position in a company or organisation and end up in a high one.
- Run the gauntlet
If somebody is being criticised harshly by a lot of people, they are said to run the gauntlet.
When people, states, etc, threaten to use force as a way of getting what they want, especially when they are unlikely to use force, they are sabre-rattling.
- Set your sights on
If you set your sights on someone or something, it is your ambition to beat them or to achieve that goal.
If someone is shell-shocked, they are traumatized by a situation.
- Shoot down in flames
If someone demolishes your argument, it (and you) have been shot down in flames.
- Shoot from the hip
Someone who shoots from the hip talks very directly or insensitively without thinking beforehand.
- Shot across the bow
A shot across the bow is a warning to tell someone to stop doing something or face very serious consequences.
- Slap leather
This is used as an instruction to tell people when to draw their guns.
- Smoking gun
A smoking gun is definitive proof of someone's guilt.
- Speak softly and carry a big stick
If you speak softly and carry a big stick, you make your case quietly but can back it up forcefully if necessary.
- Spike your guns
If you spike someone's guns, you ruin their plans.
- Spill blood
If you spill blood, you kill or hurt people.
- Stare down the barrel of a gun
If someone is staring down the barrel of a gun, there's a high risk of something very bad happening.
- Stick to your guns
If you stick to your guns, you keep your position even though people attack or criticise you.
- Straight as an arrow
A person who is as straight as an arrow is extremely honest and genuine.
- Sweat bullets
If someone is sweating bullets, they're very worried or frightened.
- Take the flak
If you take the flak, you are strongly criticised for something.('Take flak' is also used.)
- Tell it to the marines
People use this expression when they don't believe someone.
- Twist the knife
If you twist the knife, you make something even worse for somebody or make them feel worse about something.
- Two-edged sword
If someone uses an argument that could both help them and harm them, then they are using a two-edged sword; it cuts both ways.
- Under the gun
If you're under the gun, you're under pressure to do something.
- War chest
A war chest is a fund that can be used to finance a campaign like and election or for use in emergencies or unexpected times of difficulty.
- War of words
A war of words is a bitter argument between people or organisations, etc.
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