itchy trigger finger

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itchy trigger finger (plural itchy trigger fingers)

  1. The trigger finger of a person eager to fire their weapon or likely to do so unexpectedly.
    • 2006, Seth W. B. Folsom, The Highway War, unnumbered page,
      As jittery as everyone was, there were bound to be some itchy trigger fingers, American and Kuwaiti.
    • 2009, Steven D. Orr, The Perennial Wanderer, page 379,
      Travel at night was forbidden and frankly, none of us seemed upset about this as we all knew how the U.S. Army troops had itchy trigger fingers.
    • 2010, Drew Ryan Maras, Open Your Eyes: To 2012 and Beyond, page 219,
      He, and many others who had “itchy trigger fingers” and who wanted America to get in bed with war against communist Cuba and the Soviet Union, felt betrayed because JFK did not provide direct air power or support, leaving the right-winged exiles to be crushed by the Cuban army.
    • 2011, Thomas Thorn, Ugly Stories, page 242,
      As the police made their way to the upper levels, they did so with guns drawn and itchy trigger fingers at the ready.
  2. (idiomatic) The metaphorical trigger finger of a person with a tendency or readiness to act in haste or without consideration; a tendency to so act.
    Given any remote chance to gun down an effective spokesman for conservative economics as a secret fascist and torturer, even Nobel laureates can, we see, succumb to an itchy trigger finger.
    • 2002, Matthew W. Ragas, Bolivar J. Bueno, The Power of Cult Branding, page xii,
      They all have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to advertising.
    • 2004, Michael J. Panzner, The New Laws of the Stock Market Jungle, unnumbered page,
      Under these kinds of circumstances, players with significant exposure, tight stops, and itchy trigger fingers can end up overreacting to what is essentially noise.
    • 2008, Casey Sherman, Black Dragon, page 168,
      Look at Afghanistan and Iraq, it's plain to see that our current President has an itchy trigger finger.


See also[edit]


  • “Nobels and Smears”, in Wall Street Journal, 1976-12-10