shoot blanks

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Tue Nov 30 14:21:13 UTC 2010

On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 02:35:07PM +0100, Paul Frank wrote:
> Dipping into David Rakoff's Half Empty (it's so funny I have to read
> other books in between), I've just come across the very common
> expression "to shoot blanks" (to be sterile), which I'm sure we've all
> heard hundreds of times over the years. It's not in the online OED or
> any paper dictionary I know of.

No, but HDAS has "to fire blanks", citing Wentworth & Flexner
in 1960.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

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