What does 'Go off half-cocked' mean?
If you go off half-cocked, you take a rash action without being prepared for the consequences. It refers to an old fashioned single action revolver, which had a half-cock position in the action where it would supposedly not fire. If you made a mistake and it was at full cock, you would fire prematurely, possibly with devastating results.
Country: International English | Subject Area: General | Usage Type: Both or All Words Used
Buy our lists of British English, American English and Animal idioms in PDF format. They're perfect to use offline for reference or for use in class!
If you have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our Idioms Discussion Forum.
If you know of an idiom that you would like to be listed here, please use our online form to suggest an idiom.