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Aug 5, 2008
This week's theme
Metaphorical descriptions of people

This week's words
paper tiger
loose cannon
sacred cow
tenderfoot
dark horse

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

loose cannon

PRONUNCIATION:
(loos KAN-uhn)

MEANING:
An uncontrollable or unpredictable person, often causing damage to his own faction.

ETYMOLOGY:
From allusion to a cannon broken loose on the deck of a rolling ship.

USAGE:
"Another remarked: '[Sean Connery]'s a loose cannon, we can't control anything he says, but he thinks he's speaking for us."
Meg Henderson; Sean Connery's Book Leaves His Story Untold; The Sunday Times (London, UK); Jul 20, 2008.

See more usage examples of loose cannon in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting. -George Orwell, writer (1903-1950)

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