To turn up a smoking gun


Senior Member
Hi, everybody!
This is an expression from the film 10 days to war.
Context: It is still very possible that the security council will pass a resolution authorizing the war with Iraq.

Are Blix's people turning up a smoking gun? − asks Veronica, one of the heroes of the film. Actually I am not sure that what I have denoted as the context is context really, but I can think of nothing better as the dialog seems rather incoherent to me.
Surely it is an idiom. Could you please explain its meaning?
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    A smoking gun has just been fired. Found in the hands of someone at the scene of a murder it is very strong evidence.

    A figurative smoking gun is any piece of incontrovertible and incriminating evidence.

    In this specific context, the term was used as some sought introvertible and incriminating evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.


    Senior Member
    It's clear in general but not in case of the phrase in question. Am I right that the meaning of Veronica's que is: Have the Blix's people found the incontrovertible evidence of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction?
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English USA
    Does anyone know how long this expression has been in use in its figurative sense? I'd like to use it in a piece set in 1936.
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