shoot from the hip


shoot from the hip

Meaning | Synonyms

  • speak directly or bluntly, without caring for consequences
  • react quickly or impulsively
  • act recklessly, without considering the effects

Example Sentences

  1. Even if you don’t agree with your boss’ ideas, don’t shoot from the hip. It won’t augur well for your growth.
  2. He has a tendency to shoot from the hip, but what he says is usually true.
  3. In an act of desperation, the minister started shooting from the hip to save his political career after the scandal broke out.
  4. When unable to counter the accusations with proper justifications, he started to shoot from the hip.
  5. This is a sensitive issue, so its better to be politically correct rather than shoot from the hip and be called a radical.
  6. Don’t feel bad about what he said. He has a habit of shooting from the hip, but he means no harm.
  7. She has a habit of shooting from the hip, and this has gotten her into trouble quite a few times.
  8. If you shoot from the hip in front of your clients, you are doing your prospects no good.


This phrase originated in the old west of America, during the cowboy days. It alludes to shooting a gun from the hip, without taking it out if the holster. This made firing quicker, but less accurate.

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The origin of this idiom is much older than “cowboy shooting”. In the early days of hand-held long arms (rifles, but specifically muskets), because the ignition mechanism was external, it often would ignite more explosively and cause facial injuries when the rifle was aimed for a precise shot. Riflemen were afraid to get hurt, so they began the practice of shooting the musket away from there face, even though the aim was not precise. When fired, these guns had a heavy recoil, so rather than support the gun from their shoulder, they supported it “from their hip”. Thusly the expression “to shoot from the hip” implied that an action or words were not precise, but approximate and may not exactly hit the target (ie) achieve the exact result.

‒ Pete Iacullo July 6, 2020

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