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Suppose someone comes to you and without any prior word / introduction / necessary measures wants you to make friends with them.

Or

at the beginning of a great TV program, a TV reporter or showman without any prior word / introduction / necessary measures starts to speak. Is there any fixed term in English for such a situation? I'm sure there should be such a term, but I don't know what is that and how a native speaker would indicate this "doing / beginning something without.....".

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    Impromptu, extemporaneous, spontaneous, or unpremeditated all kind of work, but I think there's a better word that really fits what you're asking. Which of course, I can't recall at the moment ...
    – Andrew
    Nov 21, 2016 at 17:15

2 Answers 2

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go off half-cocked
(figurative) to go into action too early or without thinking. (Originally refers to a flintlock or matchlock gun firing prematurely, before the trigger was pulled.)
Examples:
Don't go off half-cocked. Plan out what you're going to do.
Bill went off half-cocked and told everybody he was running for the state legislature.


This website says We now commonly use 'go off at half-cock' or, in America, 'go off half-cocked', to mean 'speak or act impulsively and without proper preparation'. But I think that's probably written by an American who mistakenly supposes anything strange-sounding or archaic must be British. As this NGram shows, go off at half-cock never had any significant currency.

You'll also notice from that NGram that go off half-cock (no at, no -ed) is far from unknown. This is because in most spoken contexts it would be almost impossible for native speakers to hear that -ed anyway, so if they're not familiar with the origin they wouldn't necessarily realise it's a "past tense verb" being used adjectivally. But competent native speakers wouldn't usually get that "wrong".

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To initiate something would possibly describe both of the scenarios you mention. Initiate in this case meaning to cause the beginning of something, or to cause an event to begin.

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    But "initiate" just means "to start". I think the OP is asking specifically about starting things without proper setup or introduction.
    – stangdon
    Nov 21, 2016 at 18:52
  • Yesss @stangdon . Thank you for helping me to convey the message in my question. :)
    – A-friend
    Nov 22, 2016 at 8:58

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