quick on the trigger

quick on the trigger

1. Literally, very quick at drawing one's gun in readiness to shoot it. The gunfighter was so quick on the trigger that he often shot his enemies before they reached their own gun.
2. By extension, understanding, anticipating, or reacting to a given situation or circumstance very quickly. You have to be quick on the trigger if you want to get ahead in the world of business. Faced with criticism by environmentalists, the company's PR rep was quick on the trigger and pointed out its important role in job creation for the local community. John is quick on the trigger to defend himself when criticized.
See also: on, quick, trigger
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

quick on the trigger

 and quick on the draw 
1. Lit. quick to draw a gun and shoot. Some of the old cowboys were known to be quick on the trigger. Wyatt Earp was particularly quick on the draw.
2. Fig. quick to respond to anything. John gets the right answer before anyone else. He's really quick on the trigger. Sally will probably win the quiz game. She's really quick on the draw.
See also: on, quick, trigger
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

quick on the draw/trigger

Fast to act or react. The term comes from the gunslingers of the American West and was transferred to other kinds of quick reaction in the first half of the twentieth century. The literal meaning of quick on the trigger is a century older, appearing in a letter of 1808: “I trust that all your Aids will be quick on the trigger” (M. L. Weems, in E. E. F. Skeel, M. L. Weems: Works and Ways).
See also: draw, on, quick, trigger
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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