great guns

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Related to great guns: going great guns

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: go, great, gun

great gun

An important, successful, or influential person. He's a great gun at the law firm; he wins every court case he gets. After failing to convince the IT department that implementing new network security controls would be in everyone's best interest, Mike felt it was time to bring in the great guns, so he called a company meeting with the executive board.
See also: great, gun

great guns

An exclamation of surprise or dismay. Great guns, you startled me!
See also: great, gun
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

great guns, going

Proceeding vigorously. This term comes from British naval slang of the late eighteenth century, when blowing great guns signified a violent wind or storm. Another meaning for great guns, important persons, persisted throughout the nineteenth century, whereas in America the term was also an expletive for astonishment, comparable to “By George!” or “Great Scott!” It is the naval meaning that was transferred into the slangy cliché, however.
See also: going, great
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
There they are whacking away at each other, great guns going, shells exploding, magazines bursting, ironwork flying about like straw in a gale, all we've been dreaming of for years!
To say that she is flung down on her side in the waves, with her masts dipping into them, and that, springing up again, she rolls over on the other side, until a heavy sea strikes her with the noise of a hundred great guns, and hurls her back - that she stops, and staggers, and shivers, as though stunned, and then, with a violent throbbing at her heart, darts onward like a monster goaded into madness, to be beaten down, and battered, and crushed, and leaped on by the angry sea - that thunder, lightning, hail, and rain, and wind, are all in fierce contention for the mastery - that every plank has its groan, every nail its shriek, and every drop of water in the great ocean its howling voice - is nothing.
"I suppose the Lord Chancellor, and the Vice Chancellors, and the whole Chancery battery of great guns would be infinitely astonished by such unreason and injustice in one of their suitors," pursued my guardian.
You would almost think a great gun had been discharged; and if you noticed the light wreath of vapor from the spiracle at his other extremity, you would think that that was the smoke from the touch-hole.
It will all be as it was when I first spoke to thee under Zam-Zammah the great gun -'
Some miles from the fort we met a man, who told us that a great gun had been fired, which is a signal that Indians are near.
By the time the great inventor died, his great guns were weighing in at 110 tons (imperial).
I came across a young lady who started up her homemade cake and sandwich business just over 12 months ago and she is going great guns to build up a bigger business in the future.
And I have to say that throughout my time with Saints, we've often found travelling to Hull KR particularly tricky, even when we were going great guns.
Top foodies including Hemsley sister Melissa and Bake Off chef Chetna Makan tucked into TV chef John Gregory-Smith's delicious new Moroccan menu at London's Great Guns Social.
AZ are going great guns in the Eredivisie this season.
Since rocketing to number one three years ago with the anthemic Feel The Love, Rudimental have been going great guns, with a well received set at Glastonbury one of the highlights of their 2015.
They are going great guns so come on Dandies, at least try to enjoy it.
Palawan is going great guns because everyone is involvedthe government, the local government units, nongovernment organizations, the military and the people themselvesthe presence of the New People's Army notwithstanding.
Perhaps those great guns come from pulling all those pints in the Rovers Return?