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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