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Caught in the cross-hairs

Posted by ESC on June 03, 2007

In Reply to: Caught in the cross-hairs posted by ESC on June 03, 2007

: : I am searching for information on the origin of the phrase "caught in the cross-hairs." Any information on the background, origin, and first use of the phrase in print or verbally would help!

: For starters: A deer in the crosshairs at

I couldn't find the origin of the phrase in any of my books. I give up. Found this about the actual invention of crosshairs. Notice the disagreement about who invented them.

1641 Telescopic cross-hairs invented by William Gascoigne.

A crosshair or reticle is a shape superimposed on an image that is used for precise alignment of a device. Crosshairs are most commonly a "+" shape, though many variations exist, including dots, posts, circles, and chevrons. Most commonly associated with telescopic sights for aiming firearms, crosshairs are also common in optical instruments used for astronomy and surveying, and are also popular in graphical user interfaces as a precision pointer. The crosshair was invented by Robert Hooke, and dates to the 17th century.