go off half-cocked

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the days of flintlock and caplock firearms, where the half-cock position of the hammer was both a rudimentary safety, and the proper position for priming the pan or inserting a percussion cap. The phrase was originally rendered, "to go off at half-cock."

Verb[edit]

go off half-cocked

  1. (idiomatic, colloquial): To take a premature or ill-considered action.
    Make sure none of your men go off half-cocked and ruin this operation.

See also[edit]