loaded for bear

Idioms & Phrases

loaded for bear

Fully prepared for action; also, spoiling for a fight. For example, Bill tackled his new sales route loaded for bear, or When Martin was three hours late, his wife was loaded for bear. This term, dating from the mid-1800s, alludes to the heavy charge of powder or lead that hunters use for large animals like a bear.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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