Smoking Gun

Meaning

What does Smoking Gun mean?

A Smoking Gun scenario is one of the ultimate Coincidence? I Think Not! moments, where the suspect accidentally reveals undeniably incriminating evidence.

Origin

What's the origin of Smoking Gun?

The expression started to appear in the 1800’s, under the notion that finding someone with a dead body and a “Smoking gun” in hand is the ultimate evidence that the person has committed the murder.

One of the earliest examples of a similar phrase, Smoking pistol can be found in one of the Sherlock Holmes short stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, published in April 1893, under the title “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott”.

Spread & Usage

How did Smoking Gun spread?

Since the story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the “Smoking Gun” phenomenon turned into a veritable cliché in the field of crime fiction, with countless works resorting to the phrase for the title or inspiration.

Its popularity shot up in the 1970’s, appearing in significantly larger amounts of sources, including movies and music.

“Smoking gun” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on June 14th, 2004, with several other entries emerging in the subsequent years.

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