I discovered this phrasal verb (maybe) go for the throat, but I have been unable to find out anything more about it. I would like to know its meaning in the paragraph below. Could you help me, please?

Get ready to be gaslit by gaslight in a mesmerizing story scripted by Laura Marks, a comics newbie and TV veteran. I met Laura working on the never aired version of Locke & Key prepped by Hulu and was blown away by her deft touch at dialogue and go for the throat instinct.

Joe Hill (via Instagram)

  • 4
    Have you consulted a dictionary? It's a common idiom.
    – Mick
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 6:10
  • I find it very hard to believe that you cannot find anything about it. Just Googling the phrase brings up several dictionary definitions that explain what it means. Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 9:06
  • Yes it's true but I didn't understand it in "human" context ☺️ Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 9:10
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Maybe the question is not completely clear but it explicitly states that OP is looking for the meaning in this exact context. What are the characteristics of a TV script that "goes for your throat"? What does such metaphor mean exactly?
    – RubioRic
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 9:41
  • Rosario, I've edited (for the second time) your text to include additional information and link the original source. Please accept it, I think that it's relevant.
    – RubioRic
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 10:36

3 Answers 3


"Go for the throat" means attacking someone in their weakest spot. It refers to animals, especially wolves, which during a fight attack their enemies' throats to quickly end the fight and win.

When concerning humans it means that a person with "go for the throat instinct" usually finds the weakest spot of other people and tries to use that for their advantage.

In your example Laura is possibly a person which is very driven to accomplish her goal by whatever means necessary, usually with aggresive attitude.

  • Thank you for your reply and for the knowledge 😃 Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 4:31

As per the Macmillan dictionary, it means

to attack someone where they are weakest https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/go-for-the-throat.

In the sentence provided in the question, go for the throat may mean that Laura's script is crisp, intriguing, unpretentious and takes the bull by the horns, says that needs to be said with aplomb. She killed the task at hand with dextrous skills and profound thinking...

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    Thank you so much 😊😊 Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 4:31

Go for the throat is an idiomatic expression (not a phrasal verb).

The following definition can be seen in more detail here:

To engage in an aggressive attack against someone without holding back or showing any mercy; to attack the most vulnerable part of someone.

The phrase is usually (though not always) understood as referring to a non-physical attack. Similar to the phrase "go for the jugular."


This is politics, and the candidates aren't going to play nice during the debate—they're going to go for the throat any chance they get.

If you tangle with him, don't expect a fair fight—he'll go for the throat.

To answer your interesting question:

"Go for the throat" is used figuratively here. Who goes for the throat? Laura Marks, the screenwriter. Whose throat does she do for? She goes for the throat of each viewer. What does it mean? The screenwriter writes stories that aggressively reach the most vulnerable part of each viewer's psyche.

We would therefore expect this story by Laura Marks to touch deep personal issues in a powerful way. Many viewers are very likely to be moved by this particular story because it really goes for the throat.

  • 1
    Thank you for your time 🙂 Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 4:30

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