Last modified on 15 July 2013, at 22:08

go off half-cocked



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."


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 alsoEdit