Shoot the breeze

Unintuitive – this one!  Nothing to do with shooting, not with breeze either or other forms of moving air.

Girls shooting the breeze, pic:

When you are shooting the breeze you engage in idle conversation, chat casually of something of little consequence, have a relaxed conversation without much purpose.  Chances are, you are enjoying yourself shooting the breeze.

Here are some examples:

“The girls spent the afternoon sitting by the pool, drinking Martinis and shooting the breeze.”

“Guys, stop shooting the breeze, let’s get this meeting started so we finish in time.”

The expression dates back to the early 20th century.  Its origin is somewhat unclear: the best explanation I saw was that it is related to the expression “It is a breeze” meaning something is very easily accomplished/not very difficult.  Since the word breeze means a gentle wind – as opposed to a stiff one – breeze implies ease, something happening gently, without much effort.

That’ll have to do for an explanation.

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