What is a “Loose Cannon”? | China232.com Blog what is the target tissue of thyroxine can you take valium while taking percocet pain in pelvic area after clomid amitriptyline 50mg what is it used for what pill is stronger than percocet

What is a “Loose Cannon”?

November 30th, 2012


This is a great phrase in spoken English.  There are these types of people in every culture around the world.

First of all, a “cannon” is almost like a kind of huge gun that was used in old wars.  They shoot huge and strong bullets that can kill several people on a ship.  These were used a lot in wars at sea.

A “loose cannon” would be a cannon that fires very easily.

In modern spoken English, however, a “loose cannon” has a very different meaning.  Imagine someone who has very little self control.  This kind of person may say crazy things without thinking of the consequences.  They don’t think before they speak.  Sometimes they are funny, but often their big mouth gets them into trouble.

A “loose cannon” is a person who is a bit wild and untamed.  You really don’t know what to expect from them.

They could get angry really quickly over a very small thing and say something that they will later regret.  I’m sure we all know “loose cannons” in our own lives.   This term is usually not meant to describe a good quality.

This is a fantastic phrase to know for a non native speaker.   Native speakers use it all the time in modern English when speaking with friends.

Here is an example sentence:  ”My boss is a loose cannon after he gets drunk.  Nothing he says would surprise me.”

I’d love to read your comments below.  Please let me know if there are some other example phrases you’d like to know the clear meaning of.  I’ll do my best to explain them for you.

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12 Responses to “What is a “Loose Cannon”?”

  1. iman Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    hi.as i said before please speak about Being it’s too vague for me.

  2. china232 Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 4:17 pm


    I’m sorry but I really am unsure as to what you mean.

    Speak about “Being”? What does that mean?

  3. Godfather93 Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    You’ve banned me on the FB, and that’s ok, i was swearing, BUT:

    I know you hate me, ’cause i’m a Serb.. And your corrupted and evil government is telling you that.. Stuff like: we are terrorists, murderers, etc.. None of that shit is true, but the power of TV and other media is the biggest power on this earth, and America is controlling it.. You probably hate Russians too, but, of course you are not saying it out loud, that would be completely inappropriate, right?.. I love my fellow Russians…

    Of course, you are gonna deny every single word i wrote.. And, that’s ok, no one wants to admit that in public..

    Best regards to the all people here, i’m gonna be banned 100%, probably my comment will be deleted before anyone see it, but, what can i do..

    Btw, Andrew n Add, i don’t think you guys are bad, but you are blinded by your damn government.. Even though you live in China now, you are raised in USA.. OK, Canada, but i’m not gonna make a difference here.. I wish all the best to you guys, i’m outta here..


    Привет для братьев из России.

  4. Mary, Russia Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Thank you guys for this expression. I’ve never heard it before. Definately I know some people who could be called “loose cannons”. They are great sometimes and I respect their desire to be honest in any situation, but sometimes they seem just not to be wise. I mean they can do a great deal of harm to themselves by saying some words. Or they can offend someone, it looks like they don’t think about other people’s feelings. And they don’t think ahead about themselves either. But how do you call people who are, on the contrary, very reserved in expression of their thoughts and feelings?

  5. china232 Says:

    December 1st, 2012 at 6:15 am

    In case anyone was wondering from the comment above, I absolutely do not hate anyone because they are from a certain country.

    That is just nonsense. I think most of you probably know that already but I just want to make sure everyone realizes that.

    Thanks :)

  6. Sergey Says:

    December 1st, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Guys, could you, please, cast light on the following thing: I’ve come across the expresion – sell-by date. It’s clear what it means, but the dictionary says that “it’s used mainly in Great Britain”. What phrase is used in North America then? One more question: is there any way we can use this expression metaphorically? E.g. After yeterday’s party, I’m feeling past the sell-by date? (feeling not very good, apparently)))

  7. Bruno Castro Says:

    December 1st, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Good job man.
    I like a lot your and your brother job!

    continue like this!

    thanks from Brazil!

  8. maakun Says:

    December 3rd, 2012 at 7:38 am

    As my vip membership had expired in September, I sighed up vip membership again on December 3rd and paid 37$ by paypal.
    However when I log-in with my previous ID and password, my account profile shows that my membership statu is still ‘expired’.
    Is it because I registered my renewed account using my previous ID and password?
    I would like to know why I cannot use my vip account, even though I already paid for it.
    Looking forward to your reply

  9. maakun Says:

    December 3rd, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I could download audio and document files after registering with a different ID name.
    So the problem with my vip membership was solved.
    I am very sorry for interrupting the discussion on ‘Loose Canon’.
    But there was no other way to convey my problem with the membership I just purchased.


  10. Vodka Kitty Says:

    December 7th, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    My Dad was a loose cannon when he was a teenager. :-D
    He has settled down now that he’s older, but when he gets fired up someone has to get out of his way.
    I like the phrase “Loose Cannon”.
    It’s very easy to understand the meaning of it.

  11. Oksana Says:

    December 15th, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    In the light of the tragedy in Connecticut the “loose cannon” seems not just a phrase but a huge problem of today’s world and the USA in particular. There are so many loose cannons nowadays that it’s getting more and more dangerous to walk by the street, go to supermarket, etc…
    The issue of mental health and “loose cannons” is what societies should discuss and look for the ways to deal with it. No gun bans and other bans will solve the problem until the society and governments start really care of mental health of their people.

    Oksana, Ukraine, 25

  12. Mardy Says:

    December 23rd, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I was a loose cannon at my boss’s wedding when I got drunk………..

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