In the an initial World war soldiers in the trenches top top both sides would sometimes provide themselves a non-fatal wound ( intentionally shooting us in the foot, whilst making it appear as an accident, being a favourite). The objective was to obtain themselves median repatriated and out that the way of possible much more serious harm, or death in action.

You are watching: Shoot yourself in the foot meaning

Often ns hear civilization use the ax "he has actually shot self in the foot" to refer to someone who has unintentionally harmed his very own interests whilst in the process of make the efforts to damage someone else.

What is the understood meaning of the an allegory "to shooting oneself in the foot"?

metaphors phrase-meaning
improve this question
request Nov 11 "13 at 20:44

62.5k4242 yellow badges145145 silver- badges282282 bronze title
| present 8 an ext comments

3 answers 3

active oldest Votes
The Oxford dictionary of Idioms says

shoot you yourself in the foot inadvertently make a situationworse for yourself; demonstrate gross incompetence

The complimentary Dictionary digital has

Fig. To cause oneself difficulty; to it is in the writer of one"s ownmisfortune. I to be a master at shooting myself in the foot. Again, heshot himself in the foot by saying too much to the press.

The Chambers Dictionary has actually this pithy definition

(inf) to damage one"s own interests through ineptitude

The original definition of one of two people accidentally shooting you yourself in the foot v a total or deliberately preventing military combat by self inflicting a significant wound seems to have actually been shed or fogotten.

Perhaps the idiom, to shoot oneself in the foot, has overtaken a lot older speak which has gradually grown out of favour and is becoming obsolete.

Hoist with own petardFig. To it is in harmed or disadvantaged by an activity of one"s own which was expected to damage someone else. Based upon the literal an interpretation of hoist through your own petard; blown into the air by your very own explosive device. (From a line in Shakespeare"s Hamlet.)

There"s letters seal"d: and also my 2 schoolfellows,Whom I will trust together I will certainly adders fang"d,They be afflicted with the mandate; they have to sweep mine wayAnd marshal me to knavery. Let that work;For "tis the sports to have the enginerHoist v his own petar"; and also "t shall walk hardBut I will certainly delve one yard below their minesAnd blow them in ~ the moon: O, "tis many sweet,When in one line two crafts straight meetThe complimentary Dictionary gives the following examples of usage. It seems to me, in ~ least, the the definition is very similar to "shoot oneself in the foot".

She intended to murder she brother however was hoist through her own petard whenshe ate the poisoned food intended for him.

See more: How To Write Dragon In Japanese Word For Dragon? There Are 2 Of Them!

The vandals were hoist through their own petard as soon as they do the efforts to make an emergency call fromthe salary phone they had actually broken.