Posted by Bella on May 14, 2003
In Reply to: Re: Shoot the Moon posted by ESC on May 14, 2003
: : : : I looked up the archives and found one unanswered reference to this.
: : : : I'm not even absolutely sure I understand what the phrase means. So can anyone tell me the meaning of the term 'shoot the moon', and its origins?
: : : I can only offer that "to shoot the moon" means in certain card games to win every trick or point in any given hand.
: : : There is a related expression "to shoot for the moon", which is obviously the previous stage in the process, meaning to set oneself a very ambitious target without much chance of success. Therefore if one actually *does* manage to "shoot the moon", one has achieved a very unlikely outcome.
: : : Both expressions may be connected with the fact that "the moon" has long been used as a symbol for something utterly and unrealistically unobtainable - cf. "There's no use crying for the moon" and "He's asking for the moon there".
: : From Brewer; Shoot the Moon (To). To remove house furniture by night to avoid distraint.
: : In other words, to do a moonlight flit! There appears to be some confusion with this phrase and shoot for the moon.
: All that I have to contribute is that "Shoot the Moon" was the title of an early 1980s movie about a divorcing couple. Albert Finney and Diane Keaton star. Lots of ugly stuff happens.
I have also heard the phrase used to mean "go for broke" (there's a phrase for you), or "give it all you've got, as in try your hardest, or "Let's shoot the moon!" when you want to celebrate, go out and have a good time.