get the drop on (someone or something)

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get the drop on (someone or something)

To have an advantage over another person; to catch someone else in a vulnerable position or situation. The phrase refers to drawing a gun on someone first (thus causing them to "drop" their own gun). I think we'll get the drop on the defense if we run this play next. The police received an anonymous tip and got the drop on the would-be robbers when they entered the bank.
See also: drop, get, on

get the drop on someone

 
1. Sl. [for person A] to manage to get a gun aimed at person B before person B can aim back at person A. (The gun is then "dropped" by person B.) Fred got the drop on Wilbur in a flash. Wilbur was too stoned to get the drop on Fred.
2. Sl. to succeed in getting an advantage over someone. I guess I got the drop on you because I was early. I got the drop on almost every body by sending in my registration by e-mail.
See also: drop, get, on

get the drop on

Also, get or have the jump on . Achieve a distinct advantage over someone, especially through early or quick action; get a head start. For example, Their book on electronic communication has the drop on all the others, or We really got the jump on the competition. The first of these slangy expressions dates from the mid-1800s and originally alluded to pointing one's gun at someone before he pointed his at you. It was transferred to more general use by about 1900. The second, which uses jump in the sense of "start," dates from about 1900.
See also: drop, get, on

get the drop on someone

1. tv. to succeed in getting an advantage over someone. I got the drop on almost everybody by sending in my registration by mail.
2. tv. [for person A] to manage to get a gun aimed at person B before person B can aim back at person A. (The gun is then dropped by person B.) Rocko got the drop on Shorty in a flash.
See also: drop, get, on, someone