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Posted by James Briggs on March 20, 2004

In Reply to: Phrase: "POINT BLANK RANGE" posted by Connie on March 20, 2004

: I know the expression "He was shot at point blank range" means the gun was very near to the body when the shot was fired. Listening to a basketball game they mentioned a "point blank shot" Im guessing that means a shot at the basket from close proximity to it. But where does the expression "point blank" originate? What exactly is "point blank?"

The search box at the top under 'point blank' will show our previous discussions. Here's what I think I posted in the past.

The origin here is close to its present day use and comes from gunnery. Point-blank is when the line of sight of a cannon is parallel to its axis. Shot then flies direct to the target without a curve. Naturally such a target must be nearby. Point blanc is also French for the centre of a bullseye target and this may have had an influence in the phrase.