Origin of the phrase "jump the gun"

Posted by Bob on January 18, 2002

In Reply to: Origin of the phrase "jump the gun" posted by Debbie Kuratko on January 17, 2002

: a class assignment is to find the origin of the phrase of "jump the gun." Hope you can help. I have searched and can't seem to narrow down my search. Thanks

Guns (shooting blanks, fortunately) are tradionally used to start races. To leave the starting blocks before the signal, to "jump the gun," is to start prematurely. No fair.