go great guns


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.

go great guns

To do something enthusiastically and successfully. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. He was hesitant at first, but now that he's been on the job for a month, he's going great guns.
See also: great, gun

great guns

An exclamation of surprise or dismay. Great guns, you startled me!
See also: great, gun

going great guns

Fig. going fast or energetically. I'm over my cold and going great guns. Business is great. We are going great guns selling ice cream.
See also: going, great, gun

great guns

1. Very energetically or successfully. This colloquial expression usually occurs in the phrase go great guns, as in They're going great guns with those drawings. The expression comes from British naval slang of the late 1700s, when blowing great guns meant a violent gale. Harry Truman used the term in Dear Bess (1945): "We have been going great guns in the last day or two."
2. great gun. Also big gun. An important person, as in All the great guns came to the reception. This usage is heard less often today. [Slang; early 1800s] Also see big cheese.
3. Great guns! An expletive expressing surprise or astonishment, as in Great guns! You're not leaving now? [Late 1800s]
See also: great, gun

go great guns

perform forcefully, vigorously, or successfully. informal
1913 Field A moment later Louvois shot out, passed Sanquhar and Fairy King, and going great guns…beat the favourite by a head.
See also: great, gun

go great ˈguns

(informal) (usually in the progressive tenses) do something quickly and successfully: She’s halfway through the race, and is going great guns.He’s going great guns on his new book at the moment.
See also: great, gun

go great guns

in. to do very well; to go very fast. The project is finally going great guns, just as we planned.
See also: great, gun

go great guns

To proceed or perform with great speed, skill, or success.
See also: great, gun