Dodged a bullet is an idiom that is been in use for many years. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom dodged a bullet, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.
Dodged a bullet is an idiom that means to avoid something harmful or stressful, to avoid disaster. For instance, someone who steered his way out of a head-on auto collision may be said to have dodged a bullet. The expression dodged a bullet came into use around the turn of the twentieth century in a literal sense; the phrase was often used to describe someone who had avoided being shot during combat or an animal that had evaded being shot by a hunter. The term dodged a bullet took on a figurative meaning by the latter half of the twentieth century. Related phrases are dodge a bullet, dodges a bullet, dodging a bullet.
Seth Rogen Says He “Dodged a Bullet” When Tom Cruise Pitched Him on Scientology (Vanity Fair)
”I feel like we dodged a bullet there when they checked him out yesterday.” (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
“I think we dodged a bullet,” state Board of Public Utilities President Joe Fiordaliso said, crediting lower-than-predicted winds and dry, powdery snow with relatively few power outages. (Morristown Green)