Son of a gun


      • surprise or astonishment
        Express surprise or astonishment, often in a lighthearted or affectionate manner

      • annoyance or frustration
        Express annoyance or frustration, typically in a joking or playful manner

    Examples of Son of a gun

    • "He's as slick as a son of a gun!"

      The speaker is saying that the person being referred to is very skilled or crafty, almost like someone with criminal ties. The use of "son of a gun" here is a slang term used to express disapproval or shock. In this case, it is used to emphasize the speaker's surprise at how skilled the person is.

    • "That move caught us off guard! We're the ones who got son of a gunned this time!"

      In this instance, "son of a gun" is used metaphorically to describe a situation where one is surprised or taken off guard, often resulting in an unfavorable outcome. The metaphor implies that the consequences are similar to being caught up in a criminal situation.

    • "Don't let him fool you. He's a snake in the grass, just like a son of a gun hiding in the bushes!"

      Here, "son of a gun" is used as a way to criticize someone who is acting deceptively or hypocritically. The metaphor implies that this individual is hiding their true intentions just as a criminal might hide in the bushes, waiting for the right moment to strike.

    • "He's got balls of steel! That guy's a real son of a gun!"

      In this example, "son of a gun" refers to someone with immense courage or bravery. The metaphor is used to suggest that the individual in question is as daring as a criminal, but in a positive light. The use of "son of a gun" in this instance is to express admiration for the person's bravery.

    • The police officer cursed under his breath when he realized that the thief had slipped through his grasp once again. "Who's the son of a gun that always manages to outsmart us?" he muttered to himself.

      In this example, "son of a gun" is being used as an expression of frustration and disbelief. It implies that the thief is particularly cunning and elusive, like someone who has inherited the qualities of a notorious criminal.

    • As soon as the salesman saw the intense look on the customer's face, he knew he was dealing with a tough negotiator. "You're one savvy son of a gun, aren't you?" he said, chuckling admiringly.

      Here, "son of a gun" is used as a compliment, implying that the customer is sharp and skilled at bargaining. It suggests that the salesperson has a newfound respect for the person's negotiating abilities.

    • The detective's eyes narrowed as she scrutinized the witness's testimony. "Don't play games with me, lady. I can tell you're a son of a gun at hiding the truth."

      In this example, "son of a gun" is being used to accuse the witness of being deceptive and dishonest. It implies that the witness has a reputation for being cunning and evasive, like a criminal who has inherited traits from their parentage.

    • The athlete grinned wickedly as he plotted his revenge against his rival. "I've got a lineup of tactics that would make a son of a gun proud," he boasted, relishing the challenge ahead.

      Here, "son of a gun" is being used as a figure of speech to describe highly effective and cunning strategies. It suggests that the athlete has a reputation for being a master strategist, akin to a criminal who has inherited traits passed down through their heritage.


    The idiom "son of a gun" is often used to express surprise or astonishment, or to convey annoyance or frustration in a lighthearted or playful manner. It is commonly used in informal or casual conversations to convey emotions in a light and humorous way.

    Origin of "Son of a gun"

    The origin of the phrase "son of a gun" is uncertain, but it is believed to have nautical origins. One theory suggests that it originated from the practice of allowing women to live on naval ships, and sometimes giving birth to children on board. The phrase "son of a gun" may have been used to describe the children born on ships, and over time, the meaning of the phrase evolved to convey surprise or frustration in a playful manner.

    Another theory suggests that "son of a gun" was used to refer to a man born of a woman who had relations with a sailor, and the phrase was used to describe someone who was seen as bold or daring. Regardless of its exact origins, the phrase has become a popular idiom in the English language, used to express a range of emotions in a light and humorous way.