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Loose Cannon

Posted by Bruce Kahl on April 27, 2001

In Reply to: Loose Cannon posted by kate on April 27, 2001

: I know the (current) meaning. Where did this phrase originate?

I would think nautical.
Picture an unsecured 200 lb lump of steel on wheels sliding around on the deck of a ship bouncing here, there and everywhere creating a mess and being so unpredictable as to its next position!
That is a loose cannon!