Ever since guns were invented, a fight using guns has been called a "gun fight". Why then has it become common in recent years to use the term "fire fight" (which I thought was what firemen did), and when was the phrase first used?
#125441. Asked by davejacobs. (Mar 17 12 2:08 AM)
an exchange of gunfire between two opposing forces, especially a skirmish between military forces.
1895-1900; fire + fight
Many combats are too small to merit a name. Terms such as "action", "skirmish", "firefight", "raid" or "offensive patrol" are used to describe small-scale battle-like encounters. These combats often take place within the time and space of a battle and while they may have an objective, they are not necessarily "decisive". Sometimes the soldiers are unable to immediately gauge the significance of the combat; in the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo, some British officers were in doubt as to whether the day's events merited the title of "battle" or would be passed off as merely an "action".
a battle between two or more people or groups armed with guns, especially a confrontation between two gunfighters using revolvers in the frontier days of the American West.
1650-60; gun + fight
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