Barry’s Blog # 301: Military Madness – The Unacknowledged Metaphors in Our Daily Speech, Part Two of Four

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. – Jack London

No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger…So we have to just change the culture. Period. And keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it. – Joe Biden

Here is a list of martial metaphors (followed by some sports names) that I’ve compiled. Its sheer size, more than any analysis, may help you realize how often you use some of them and why we all need to be conscious of our speech. After that, we can think about alternatives.

Above and beyond the call of duty


All-out assault

All hands on deck

Armed with knowledge

Ammunition for arguing



Attacking my subject



Battle of the Bands

Battle Royale

Battleground states

Bazooka Gum



Big guns

Bite the bullet

Blast from the Past




Bombshell of a report

Blonde bombshell


Blow them out of the water

Blown away

(The) Bomb

Bomb (theatrically)

Bombarding with facts

(A) Booming voice

Boot camp for computers; rehab; diabetics; weight loss; etc

Boot camp for Light Workers 43096006_2136484316408546_6103361987490611200_o

Boots on the ground

Break a leg

Bring out the heavy artillery


Bullet point; Bullet train; Bulletproof plan; Dodging a bullet

Burning one’s bridges

Call to arms


Canon for an arm

Canon ball dive


Changing of the guard

Clarion call

Collateral damage

Conquest of nature

Coup de grace

Courageous battle against cancer

Cowboys and Indians

Cowboy up




(A) crush on her

Crushing it

Culture wars

Cutting contest (Jazz)


Dead End; Dead Man’s Curve, Hand, Island, etc



Destroying the opposition


Doctor’s orders

Doing some damage

Dressed to kill


Earning your stripes

Economic Hit Man


Fight fire with fire

Fighting the good fight good_ fight_1


Firing blanks

Firing line




Front and Center

Front lines of the debate

Fruits of war


Get us over the top

Go for broke



Happy warrior



Have your back

Hired gun

Hit record; baseball hit; website hit

Hit the mark

Home run blast

Hostile takeover

I love him to death

In the heat of battle

In the trenches

Incoming fire

Invasion of cancer cells

IPO launch

Itchy trigger finger

It’s a losing battle

Join the ranks

Judicial arms race

Kick-ass performance

Killer app

Killing it, making a killing

Knock ’em dead

Knock yourself out

Launched (offspring)

Line in the sand

Lock, stock and barrel

Locked and loaded

Loose cannon

Love bomb; Love drive-by love-bomb-graphic-love-bombing-relationships-romance

Main thrust of the argument

Man up


Marching as one; together; in unison; in step

March of progress

Marshalling the troops


Missing in action


Nailed it

No holds barred

No man’s land

No quarter

Nuclear option

(That’s) Over the top

Pass muster

Penetrating insight

Photo bomb

(She’s a) pistol

Police your room

Pounding a beer

Powder keg


Punchline; beat to the punch

Punch it (through a yellow traffic light)

Push comes to shove

Rally the troops

(Corporate) Raiders

Rank and file

Rising up the charts like a bullet

Roger and out

Salvation Army


Seeds of destruction

Shot: photograph, basketball, line-drive

(A) shot at success

(Give me your best) shot; (Good) shot!

Shot over the bow; Shot in the dark; Shot down

Shot at fame / love / success, etc

Shots of vodka, tequila, etc

Shoot from the hip

Shoot a text / email

Shoot the moon

Shooting down the opposition, shooting back

Shooting star

Shooters (drinks); Shooters Restaurant

Silver bullet

Slam dunk

Slash emissions



Smoking gun


Soldiers of the Lord

Soldier on

Sound off


Stand tall

Stick to your guns


Sweating bullets

Tackling the problem

Take liberties

Take no prisoners

Taking the internet by storm


Task force

This is my rifle, this is my gun; one is for killing, one is for fun.

This means war!

Three-point bomb

Throw everything we’ve got at this problem

Throwing firebombs

Time bomb

To the hilt

Top gun

Triggering; pulling the trigger; trigger warnings

Troops, trooper


Tweet bomb

Under fire

Under the gun

Up against the wall

Up in arms

Vaccine shot

Waging peace

War on drugs; cancer; poverty; Christmas hqdefault

War room

War zone

Warriors (spiritual)



Weekend Warriors weekend-warriors-55971f4c0555d

Within striking distance


And a few college sports nicknames:

(ASA College) Avengers

(Ohio Wesleyan) Battlin’ Bishops

(Thomas Moore College) Blue Rebels

(Lutheran Bible School) Conquerors

(Eastern Kentucky) Colonels and Lady Colonels

(Fla. Nat. Univ.) Conquistadors ath-header

(Holy Cross) Crusaders

(Dordt College) Defenders

(St. Ambrose) Fighting Bees

(N. Dakota) Fighting Hawks

(Kalamazoo) Fighting Hornets

(Illinois) Fighting Illini

(W. Illinois) Fighting Leathernecks

(Muskingum) Fighting Muskies

(N.C. Arts) Fighting Pickles

(Wilmington Col.) Fighting Quakers (!)

(Carrol College) Fighting Saints

(Ohio Valley) Fighting Scots

(Mary Baldwin College) Fighting Squirrels 414389_xXOTwPh7iGiY8_pTm5hlXDGJF

(Wash. & Lee) Generals

(McDaniel College) Green Terror

(CA Maritime) Keelhaulers

(Arcadia) Knights; (Army) Black Knights

(Massachusetts) Minutemen

(New England) Patriots

(U. Hawaii) Rainbow Warriors

(Oakland) Raiders

(Texas) Rangers

(Texas Tech) Red Raiders

(Mississippi) Rebels

(UNLV) Runnin’ Rebels

(San Jose St.) Spartans

(USC) Trojans

(Minnesota) Vikings

(Auburn) Warhawks

(Golden State) Warriors


Read Part Three here.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Barry’s Blog # 301: Military Madness – The Unacknowledged Metaphors in Our Daily Speech, Part Two of Four

  1. Dale says:

    From the era of A.M. Radio: It’s a “hit” record “Rocketing up the charts” “Raising up like a bullet”

    Competing rock bands: “Battle of the Bands”

    Competitive blues guitarists: “Cuttin’ Heads”

    website “visits” are counted as how many “hits”

    Nearly ubiquitous astrologers’ jargon (except me): Transiting planets aligning with natal chart planets = planets “hitting” planets (for example, “Mars is hitting Venus”)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s