pistol

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fire (one's) pistol in the air

1. In a duel, to shoot one's firearm into the air to avoid injuring the other party. A: "Did I just hear a gunshot? Is the duel over?" B: "Sir Edmund fired his pistol into the air, so Master William is unscathed."
2. To avoid harshly criticizing or otherwise hurting someone during an argument or debate. I usually fire my pistol in the air in these sorts of debates—I hate hurting people's feelings.
See also: air, fire, pistol

jump the gun

To start something before it is permissible, appropriate, or advisable. The phrase alludes to starting to run in a foot race before the starting gun goes off. Henry jumped the gun and sent the proofs to the printer before the boss approved them, and she was not happy. I probably jumped the gun with announcing our engagement before everyone was there, but I was just too excited.
See also: gun, jump

jump the gun

Fig. to start before the starting signal. (Originally used in sports contests that are started by firing a gun.) We all had to start the race again because Jane jumped the gun. When we took the test, Tom jumped the gun and started early.
See also: gun, jump

jump the gun

Start doing something too soon, act too hastily. For example, The local weather bureau jumped the gun on predicting a storm; it didn't happen for another two days . This expression alludes to starting a race before the starter's gun has gone off, and supplants the earlier beat the pistol, which dates from about 1900. [Mid-1900s]
See also: gun, jump

jump the gun

COMMON If someone jumps the gun, they do something before the right time. `How about going out to celebrate?' — `I haven't definitely got the job yet so let's not jump the gun.' The book wasn't due to be released until September 10 but some booksellers have jumped the gun and decided to sell it early. Note: If a runner jumps the gun, they begin running before the pistol is fired to start the race.
See also: gun, jump

jump the gun

act before the proper or appropriate time. informal
In athletics, a competitor who jumps the gun sets off before the starting pistol has been fired. The expression appears in the early 20th century as beat the gun .
See also: gun, jump

jump the ˈgun

(informal) do something before the right time: They jumped the gun by building the garage before they got permission from the town council.
This idiom refers to an athlete in a race who starts running before the starter has fired the gun.
See also: gun, jump

jump the gun

tv. to start too soon; to start before the starting signal. The secretary jumped the gun and gave out the letters too soon.
See also: gun, jump

pistol

n. a person who is bright, quick, or energetic. (Implying hot as a pistol or quick as a pistol.) Ask that pistol to step over here for a minute, would you?

jump the gun

To start doing something too soon.
See also: gun, jump