beat sb to the punch
to do something before someone else does it
What is the origin of the idiom "beat someone to the punch" and when to use it?
Its origins date back to boxing in the early 20th century, where a boxer who threw the first punch had a significant advantage over their opponent. The term was then adopted into everyday language to refer to getting ahead of someone in a non-physical sense. It became popular in the 1920s and 1930s, particularly in the United States, and has remained in use ever since.