Straight from the shoulder

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Straight from the shoulder is an idiom that dates from the late 1800s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of the term straight from the shoulder, where the phrase came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Straight from the shoulder means in an honest fashion, in a frank way, straightforward. The idiom straight from the shoulder is an idiom that is derived from the sport of boxing. In boxing, a punch that comes straight from the shoulder is a punch that is delivered with full force, a punch that is effective. Straight from the shoulder is an idiom that describes a sentiment that is sincerely expressed, even at the risk of seeming less than diplomatic. When used as an adjective before a noun, the term is hyphenated as in straight-from-the-shoulder.


A car salesman who rises to power under extraordinary circumstances, Rennie is “a crook, a cozener and a sociopath, the worst possible choice in a time of crisis, but he’s got a folksy, straight-from-the-shoulder delivery that people relate to.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“The comment section of the survey can be a jewel of information in terms of the straight from the shoulder reaction to our performance directly from our customers.” (The Greenwich Free Press)

He would be candid and honest, willing to tell the president straight from the shoulder what he needs to hear. … The new administration must thread the needle between pushing back against Vladimir Putin’s aggressions, meddling interventionism, ambitions and bullying and at the same time find a way to stop a dangerous downward spiral in our relationship with Russia. (USA Today)