Go for the jugular

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Go for the jugular is a idiom that some may find confusing. We will examine the definition of the phrase go for the jugular, where it comes from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To go for the jugular means to attack quickly and savagely in the most vicious and effective way possible. This idiom comes from the fact that one very effective way to kill someone quickly is to sever his jugular artery, allowing the victim to quickly bleed out. While go for the jugular may be used in a literal sense, most often it is used in a figurative way. The word jugular comes from the Latin word jugularis meaning neck or throat. Related phrases are goes for the jugular, going for the jugular, went for the jugular.


Jurgen Klopp has vowed that Liverpool will go for the jugular at the Etihad on Tuesday night. (The Liverpool Echo)

The first disc, “Shallows,” offers ample evidence of this. The exuberant “Yoru no Odoriko” waits nearly three minutes to get to its glow stick-worthy chorus; “Rookie” and “Light Dance” are both generously laden with hooks but seem more interested in showing off their groovy synth sounds than in going for the jugular. (The Japan Times)

The United manager claimed at the time that while City could “go for the jugular”, United were forced to follow “a different process” and suggested that his side would only be able to compete with City if the champions-to-be suddenly stopped spending. (The Independent)