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Shoot the Moon

Posted by TheFallen on May 14, 2003

In Reply to: Shoot the Moon posted by Lotg 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".