Learn English – Is the term “fire and forget” well understood


When referring to people's skills, my (IT) circle sometimes refer to a person as being "fire and forget." This would indicate that you could tell such a person to accomplish a task, and they'd work it out themselves without constant supervision. The (to me) obvious etymology would be a fire-and-forget missile where the operator simply needs to target the weapon once as opposed to, say, a wire guided missile that requires needs to be manually guided to its target.

Is "fire and forget" widely understood in this context or is it just a geek thing?

Best Answer

It's common military terminology, so I would think that anyone who has a passing familiarity with military culture and military idioms (geeks tend to fall in this group) would understand it perfectly well. Military fiction is a common form of entertainment, so this phrase exists in the nebulous realm of pop culture as well.

I wouldn't call it universal, and I wouldn't call this usage common, but I think most English-speaking Americans would understand you.