Go great guns

Go great guns is an idiom that is several hundred years old. We will examine the meaning of the idiom go great guns, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

To go great guns means to tackle a project enthusiastically, to do something successfully or with all of one’s effort. The idiom go great guns has evolved from a British nautical phrase in use since the late eighteenth century, to blow great guns, which describes a violent wind storm. The term became go great guns to mean to do something with great vigor sometime in the 1800s. Related phrases are goes great guns, went great guns, going great guns.

Examples

“I guess he seems to think his solo career is going to go great guns, and he doesn’t seem to realize that — in my opinion — his fans around the globe want to see him in the context of Aerosmith and don’t really care for whatever he thinks he’s gonna do.” (The Oakland Press)

Fergal O’Brien continues to go great guns, but his Imperial Alcazar was poor when second last time out and needs to step up on that effort in a big way. (The Sun)

“It’s going to be a little harder, but we’re going to go great guns whatever happens here.” (The Winona Daily News)

The Panthers had been going great guns and were unbeaten in their four matches when the M-League was suspended on March 14 following the movement control order (MCO). (The Star)