Magic bullet and silver bullet

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A silver bullet is a magical solution to a confusing problem. Silver bullets have long had the reputation of  being the only ammunition that can kill a werewolf, since the eighteenth century. In 1933, The Lone Ranger, a fictional masked Texas Ranger who roamed the Old West with his faithful friend, Tonto, debuted on American radio. His bullets were made of silver, Silver was his horse’s name, also. Michael Briggs found that silver bullets are actually slower and less accurate than traditional lead bullets.

A magic bullet is a medicine or other remedy that is wonderfully specific and efficacious. It was coined in 1906 by scientist Paul Ehrlich when he used the German word zauberkugel to describe natural antibodies that seem to fly to their specific objectives in a charmed fashion. Zauberkugel was translated into English as magic bullet in 1938 and by 1940, the term was common in American newspapers. As time has passed, the definitions of silver bullet and magic bullet have grown closer in meaning.


There is no “silver bullet” to instantly turn around the decline of traditional town centres, according to Fife Council leader David Ross. (The Courier)

While there’s no silver bullet for changing company culture, it’s far from an impossible feat to shape it in such a way that aligns behavior with your organizational strategy. (The Huffington POst)

Compressed natural gas (CNG) was pitched as a silver bullet for Delhi’s air pollution problem, but new research suggests exhaust emissions of CNG vehicles may also be harmful. (The Times of India)

“There’s no magic bullet for halting this sell-off because we’ve probably reached the stage where the fear takes over and feeds on itself.” (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Ginseng is no magic bullet for lethargy, age or impotence. (The South China Morning Post)

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