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Guns or butter in government policy, the choice between social and economic development and military expansion; often with reference to the comment by the German Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels (1897–1945) in 1936, ‘If we are attacked we can only defend ourselves with guns not with butter.’

stick to one's guns refuse to compromise or change, despite criticism. With allusion to maintaining one's position under enemy fire.

See also smoking gun, son of a gun.

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