Posted by Smokey Stover on March 20, 2007
In Reply to: Re: Throwing caution to the wind posted by Victoria S Dennis on March 19, 2007
: : meaning of "throwing caution to the wind"
: If you throw something "to the wind", you are decisively jettisoning it - tossing it away, letting the wind take it and blow it right away out of reach of recovery. (Imagine throwing away a letter, for example.) So if you throw caution to the wind, you are abandoning it completely, knowing that from now on you will have to act boldly - you can't go back to a cautious policy. (VSD)
Throwing caution to the wind does not always have to be quite so all-encompassing and irrevocable as you might infer from Victoria's enthusiastic account. You can throw caution to the wind in terms of some single act, and you can use it humorously. "I'm going to throw caution to the wind and guess that you feel like hell today." More seriously, "John threw caution to the wind and told the boss off today." "Amy threw caution to the wind and told George she loved him." "She did it again the next day, when she bought that dress she couldn't afford." "The general threw caution to the wind and put his ragtag troops, some without shoes, onto rowboats, to cross the Delaware River in the dark of the night in midwinter to try to storm the well-trained Hessian mercenaries as they celebrated in their barracks on Christmas night."
I believe that some people prefer to use wind in the plural, and throw their caution to the winds.