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Straight shooter


  • Straight shooter
     is an idiom that may not be as old as you think. 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 saying straight shooter, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

     

    A straight shooter is someone who is honest, upright, forthright, ethical, and sincere. A straight shooter is straightforward and will state what is on his mind in a truthful and unembellished manner. Someone who is a straight shooter does not have a hidden agenda; his actions and words are dependable. Intuitively, one would think that the expression straight shooter came into use in the American Old West; however, the phrase doesn’t appear in the literature until around 1920. Perhaps the phrase was in use in the Old West before this time and did not appear in the mainstream until the 1920s, or perhaps the phrase was popularized in Western fiction. Straight shooter is an American idiom, and the plural form is straight shooters.

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    Examples

    He said Crane was a “straight shooter” that would tell you bluntly what he thought about things in a way that was “pretty accurate.”  (Atlantic News Telegraph)

    Across multiple roles in government, including stints in the White House and the State Department, Psaki has earned a reputation for being an unflappable straight-shooter — a welcome approach after a succession of combative press secretaries under former President Donald Trump that included Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephanie Grisham and Kayleigh McEnany. (Hartford Courant)

    Phelan, who declined to be interviewed for this story, is described among colleagues and other Capitol observers as a straight shooter who knows the legislative process inside and out and who has a track record of being hardworking and accommodating. (Texas Tribune)


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