warning

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red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning

A red sky at sunrise is a sign that bad weather will follow. The full phrase is "Red sky at night, shepherd's delight; red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning." I think we're going to get a bad storm today. Look at that sunrise—red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning.
See also: red, sky, warning

Scarborough warning

No warning. The phrase might refer to a surprise attack on the castle of Scarborough in the 16th century. Primarily heard in UK. Well, that thunderstorm came through with a Scarborough warning—it wasn't supposed to rain today at all.
See also: warning

warning shot

1. Literally, the firing of a weapon to signal an impending attack and/or to urge the opponent into surrender. We're almost at the shore—send up a warning shot before we land.
2. By extension, something used to signal future events and/or to urge people into a particular course of action. This petition is just a warning shot, saying that we'll be arrested if we keep playing our music so loud. I say, turn it up!
See also: shot, warning

trigger warning

A statement at the beginning of an article or video advising that its content might be upsetting, especially for trauma survivors. At least that graphic article came with a trigger warning.
See also: trigger, warning

a shot across the bows

or

a warning shot across the bows

FORMAL
COMMON A shot across the bows or a warning shot across the bows is something that someone does or says to show someone else that they are prepared to fight or compete with them, often if they continue to do what they are doing. `Bows' is pronounced with the same vowel sound as the word `how'. As a warning shot across the bows of their rivals, the company is already setting very low prices. This vote is a protest, a shot across the bows to the leadership, to show them that we're here. Note: You can also use the shorter expression a warning shot. The protest should act as a warning shot to the government. Note: People often use the verb fire before these expressions, and, less often, verbs such as deliver and send. Britain's agriculture minister departed from his prepared speech to fire a shot across Norway's bows. The electorate has sent a warning shot which our politicians must now take notice of. Note: The bows are the front part of a ship.
See also: across, bow, shot

a warning shot across the bows

a statement or gesture intended to frighten someone into changing their course of action.
Literally, a shot fired in front of the bows of a ship is one which is not intended to hit it but to make it stop or alter course.
See also: across, bow, shot, warning
References in periodicals archive ?
In warningly colored and mimetic butterflies the females are often more vulnerable (Ohsaki 1995).
Under contemporary conditions, however, where international donors, purse-strings warningly fingered, are known to be watching closely, and especially where international observers have been invited to offer or withhold a seal of approval, it seems likely that the degree of advantage that the incumbent regime will be able to accrue from such measures will not be decisive in affecting the result--or at least no more so than the advantages normally enjoyed by an incumbent government, in the UK or elsewhere.
Aposematic caterpillars: life-styles of the warningly colored and unpalatable.
This could be a result of many warningly colored caterpillars that are palatable mimics, or it is possible that some of the palatable species that are brightly colored are unpalatable to other predators or parasites.
Some authors (Poulton 1887; Cott 1940; Edmunds 1974; Wiklund and Jarvi 1982) have argued that unpalatable and warningly colored prey are tough and therefore difficult to kill.
In the original butterfly study (Sillen-Tullberg 1988) that showed how many times gregariousness can be inferred to have evolved in cryptic and in aposematic lineages, respectively, the sample included mainly aposematic taxa, perhaps giving the impression that almost all butterfly larvae are warningly colored (Harvey and Pagel 1991; Pagel 1991).
Nearly all ladybird species (Coccinellidae) are warningly colored (Hodek 1973; Brakefield 1985a; Majerus and Kearns 1989), possibly as a consequence of the almost universal ability within the group to synthesize toxic or noxious defensive alkaloids (Pasteels et al.
If warning colors are conventional signals, this would imply that there is no inherent connection between the signal and unpalatability, but that predators learn to associate the signal with unpalatability or toxicity and to avoid warningly colored prey.