Where did the phrase “to jump the gun” come from and What does it mean?

The expression “to jump the gun” is of racing origin, especially foot racing.

A contestant so keyed up as to spring from the starting mark a moment before the starter fires his pistol is said “to jump the gun.”

The expression is also used in hunting game, as when a pheasant “jumps the gun” by being startled and taking flight before the sportsman’s gun is in readiness. Hence, the phrase has acquired a general slang meaning of beginning a thing before preparations for it are in readiness.

where did the phrase to jump the gun come from and what does it mean scaled

In this figurative sense the usage is recent, probably not longer than within the past twenty-five or thirty years.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.