Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shoot v.

1. in sexual senses.

(a) to ejaculate; thus shooting n.; shooter n. one who ejaculates.

[UK]‘Cambridg Libell’ in May & Bryson Verse Libel 338: Poor Fletcher cannot hit yt right, / His bolt doth some what square / [...] / Shoote, Richard, shoote, and take thie chaunce.
[UK]Machin & Markham Dumbe Knight II i: Indeed, mistress, if my master should break his arrow with foul shooting or so, I would be glad if mine might supply the hole.
[UK]Dekker Owles Almanacke II: Sagittarrus, the Archer, gouernes the thighes, for betweene them is the sweetest shooting.
[UK]Massinger Bondman II ii: Shoot home, Sir, You cannot misse the marke.
J. Cleveland Character of a London-Diurnal (1661) 184 : He stalks with Essex, and shoots under his belly, because his Oxcellency himself is not charged there.
[UK] ‘Maiden’s Delight’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I 138: You’ll miss the clout if that you shoot / Much higher, or much lower; / Shoot just between, your arrows keen.
[UK]J.M. ‘Huntsmans Delight’ Pepys Ballads (1987) IV 271: [They] each carried his bow, And all for to shoot the bonny bonny Doe.
[UK] ‘Rory O’More Had A Hell Of A Bore’ Rambler’s Flash Songster 12: I’m the boy your touch holes to prime; / I never miss fire, or flush in the pan, / When I go shooting it is not my plan.
[UK]Cythera’s Hymnal 22: Points a moral to each of us daily, / That says, always take aim when you shoot.
[UK]Randiana 128: I shot the hot boiling sperm right up to Fanny’s heart.
[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 90: Décharger. To ejaculate; ‘to shoot’.
[UK]‘Ramrod’ Nocturnal Meeting 74: I believe your prick shot right into my womb.
[US] ‘The Bucking Bronco’ in G. Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) xx: My love had a gun that was sturdy and long, / But he wore it to visit the lady gone wrong, / Though once it was strong and it shot straight and true / Now it wobbles and it buckles and it’s red, white, and blue.
[US] ‘Root, Hog, or Die’ in G. Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 142: We went up to her room, and my prick it quickly rose, / Before I got it in the bitch, I shot it all over her clothes.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 528: Plough her! More! Shoot!
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 5: I shoot hot bolts into you, Tania, I make your ovaries incandescent.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 227: Begging me to finish her off, begging me to shoot.
[US]‘Philip Barrows’ Whores, Queers & Others I [ebook] Harry, [...] challenged us to shoot as he could. He showed us how to wrap as many fingers as would fit around it and pull the skin up and down as fast as possible.
[UK]T. Lewis Plender [ebook]‘Bet you can’t fetch [...] I can,’ said Peter, ‘I can shoot three feet’.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 131: I came right away and then I kept balling because I was embarrassed to shoot so soon.
[US]Chapple & Talbot Burning Desires 301: Men in gay and straight pornography shoot copious amounts of fluid.
[US]‘Bill E. Goodhead’ Nubile Treat 🌐 They came and came and came. They locked together in passion. His cock kept shooting and shooting and her body continued to buck and heave under him.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Birthday 122: He [...] speculated on whether the amount of spunk he had shot in his life would have been enough to drown in.
[US]D.R. Pollock ‘Honolulu’ in Knockemstiff 188: [H]e figured New York had shot his three dollars’ worth.
[US]G. Pelecanos (con. 1972) What It Was 98: That boy’s gonna shoot while she’s fittin the safe on his pecker.
[Scot](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 87: Even though ah’ve shot nowt ye kin still git undetected traces ay spunk and ‘it just takes one’.
[Aus](con. 1943) G.S. Manson Coorparoo Blues [ebook] ‘[T]hem young bucks are two-minute shooters anyway. The old bull’s got a bit more lift-power’.

(b) of a man, to have sexual intercourse (with).

[UK]Gesta Grayorum (1688) 25: All such persons as, for Lucre and Gain of Living, do keep or maintain, or else frequent and resort unto any common House, Alley, open or privy place of unlawful Exercises; as of Vaulting [...] or any forbidden manner of Shooting; as at Pricks in common High-ways [...] or at short Butts, not being of sufficient length and distance, or at any roving or unconstant Mark, or that shoot any Shafts, Arrows, or Bolts of unseasonable Wood or Substances.
[Ire]Head Eng. Rogue I 461: I would at any time (might I but chuse) The fairest White for this same Black refuse. But mischief on’t, let me shoot e’re so right.
[UK] ‘Ballad of All the Trades’ in Playford Pills to Purge Melancholy II 62: O the Weaver [...] He never shoots his Shuttle right / But he shoots, but he shoots, but he shoots first at his Maid.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy IV 62: O the Weaver the wicked, wicked Weaver, / That follows a weary Trade; / He never shoots his shuttle right, But he shoots, but he shoots, but he shoots first at his Maid.
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 21 May 547/1: The Captain was a fam’d crack shot, and ere he left for Erin, / The Old Hats pigeon-shooting corps, as private did appear in.
[UK] ‘They’re All Shooting’ Cuckold’s Nest 36: They’re all shooting, shoot, shoot, shooting, / O, they’re all shooting at my house in town, / My daughter and my wife are so lecherous, to boot, / They say they couldn’t live, if it was not for a shoot.
[US]Life in Boston & N.Y. (Boston, MA) 11 Apr. n.p.: Richard C—x, how about it taking you so long to load that old psitol [...] That girl said if you couldn’t shoot better than that she wouldn’t have anything to do with you.
[UK]A. Cairene Sixfold Sensuality 66: Ethel wanted to be shot again so catching hold of his gun she began rubbing it.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 156: Did you lamp them breastworks? Oi! Oi! [...] How’d you like to lay behind them and shoot?
[US]in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 411: They handed me an M-1; it made me nervous more. / The only person I wanted to shoot was my little Taegu whore.

(c) to have a wet dream.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.

(d) (US prison) to have sex with an effeminate, younger male prisoner.

[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July 🌐 Shooting: Having sex with a punk, as in ‘shooting at someone.’ (TX).

2. in senses of movement.

(a) to move, to travel; usu. as shoot along, shoot down, shoot for etc.

[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant n.p.: Shoot to go skulking about.
[UK]Flash Dict.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 131/2: Shoot, to go skulking about.
[US]J. Harrison ‘Negro English’ in Anglia VII 277: To lay off er straight-shoot = to run off instantly.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 15 Dec. 167: Early in the afternoon we shot round a headland.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 147: He [...] climbs into the little old ’bus, and maybe cusses the carburettor, and shoots out home.
[US]A. Halper Foundry 261: Shoot out and get me another lemonade!
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 43: I figured I’d better shoot for The Corner fast and get my bearings.
[UK] ‘Screwsman’s Lament’ in Encounter n.d. in Norman Norman’s London (1969) 68: Me and Bill shoots round the back, we does the break a treat, / We get in without a sound, because we got creepers on our feet.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Cop This Lot 18: Wot say we shoot inter town termorrer an’ see wot we c’n find out?
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 55: He never remembered to stop off and buy things. Occasionally he would shoot along to Harrod’s foodhall and pick up a few things, but that was a hassle.
[Aus]D. Maitland Breaking Out 293: Crewe shot along like a shithouse rat.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 65: They shot over the cement ribbon through the damp night.

(b) (also shoot it) to leave, esp. as imper. (cf. shoot off v. (1)).

[US]G. Thompson Anna Mowbray 11: Shoot the pit, lads – the hounds are out! Guinea Bill has betrayed you!
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 45/1: Here was luck, and off I shot to the coffee shop.
[US]R. Bolwell ‘College Sl. Words And Phrases’ in DN IV:iii 235: shoot, imper. Continue; go ahead.
[US]M. Levin Reporter 323: So I shoot down to Madison [...] and meet Catsnuts.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Jonah’s Gourd Vine (1995) 51: All de shootin’ he do is shoot fuh home if somebody git behind ’im.
[Aus]L. Glassop Lucky Palmer 10: As they began to troop out the front door, Fred shot out the back.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings Goes To School 72: He shot out of the classroom.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 13 March in Proud Highway (1997) 327: Shoot out the front door & not give a damn for much of anything but the weather.
[US]P. Conroy Great Santini (1977) 422: We’ll just shoot it and run our nuts off.
[UK] in R. Graef Living Dangerously 69: We shot out down the back garden and got away.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 156: I tell her I’ll shoot up to Tescos and get some swag in.
[Aus]G. Gilmore Base Nature [ebook] ‘I enjoyed it. But now I’ve got to shoot’.

(c) (also shoot over, shoot to) to send; to convey; to drive.

[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 43: Hey, Bill [...] just shoot us out to the fight, will you?
[Aus]J. Furphy Such is Life 267: If you shoot me straight for the swamp, I’ll be right.
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith in the City (1993) 75: The important task of shooting doubloons across the counter.
[US]T.A. Dorgan Indoor Sports 12 June [synd. cartoon] Shoot me a few sinkers.
[US]T. Thursday ‘Nearly Over’ in Top-Notch 15 Apr. 🌐 I’d advise you to shoot it [i.e. a story] to the Eversob Monthly.
[US]R. Lardner Big Town 7: Ella and Sister Kate would of shot the whole wad into a checking account so as the bank could enjoy it.
[US]C. Himes ‘Prison Mass’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 162: It would be best if he wrote Mae and shot her a little ‘jive’.
[US]B. Schulberg What Makes Sammy Run? (1992) 111: I’ll shoot you a wire the first time anything looks hot.
[UK]K. Amis letter 1 Jan. in Leader (2000) 226: Shoot me the relevant word soon.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 11 Sept. in Proud Highway (1997) 229: If you think we can do business, shoot me a letter.
[UK]T. Lewis Plender [ebook] Course it needs a new tail light but he’s got a friend who’s a Mercedes dealer and he’s shooting one over.
[US]E. Bunker No Beast So Fierce 76: I do the work when someone asks and shoot ’em to Clyde Brooks. He gives me a kickback.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 254: shoot (one) to Send someone to.
[US]W.D. Myers Scorpions 42: ‘You know I ain’t got that kind of dust, man. If I had it, I would shoot it on down to the lawyer’.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Jungletown Jihad’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 336: He’s deep depressed. LAPD just shot him to a shrink.

(d) to hurry someone along, to send someone quickly to a place.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 13 Jul. 24/2: ‘No “lambed-down” shearer’ (writes The Bulletin’s London correspondent) ‘was ever chucked out of “The Traveller’s Rest” into the dusty road in a limp heap as the Maorilanders have been shot out of the Antipodean bowling team.’.
[UK]Wodehouse Inimitable Jeeves 9: Our best plan might be to shoot young Bingo in on him after dinner.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 141: Could be they’d shoot up Mum’s.

(e) as an order, to fetch, to bring, to send.

[US]H.C. Witwer Smile A Minute 184: ‘C’mon, shoot the stuff’ ‘I’m sorry, sir,’ says the waiter.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 139: All right, Garibaldi, just shoot me in that steak.
[US]E.S. Gardner ‘Honest Money’ in Penzler Pulp Fiction (2006) 34: Okey. Good girl. Shoot him in.
[US]W. Burroughs letter 22 Apr. in Harris (1993) 121: Get with those technicolor peyote kicks Daddy O and shoot me that solid address.

(f) to promote, to propel.

[US]A. Rodriguez Spidertown (1994) 118: You know Spider shot him upstairs, got ’im some big contracts.

3. in gambling senses.

(a) to (make a) bet.

[UK]G.J. Whyte-Melville Digby Grand (1890) 260: At length one giant speculator [...] offered to stake thirty to one against the colt [...] My time was come, and pulling out my book, I ‘shot’ him at once in hundreds.
[UK]Era (London) 20 Mar. 3/3: A man has only to offer to take odds about a certain horse for one of these gentry to ‘shoot’ him, and then [...] it is a bet.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 261: How much you goin’ to shoot?
[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 73: I got cha Judge. Shoot the roll.
[US]H. Wiley Wildcat 225: Alabam! Shoots two dollars. Shower down yo’ money. Dice, stay right. Mississip’! Wham! Shoots fo’ dollahs.
[US](con. 1920s) ‘Harry Grey’ Hoods (1953) 198: You, Pip, get into the dice game [...] Eleven-thirty you shoot for all.
[US]J. Thompson Texas by the Tail (1994) 3: All right with you fellas [...] if I shoot two hundred?
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 94: [W]e wandered into the casino; gambling is not my bag but Gail wanted to shoot a hand.
[US]H. Selby Jr Song of the Silent Snow (1988) 11: Everytime he threw another pass he’d roar and yell shoot, comeon ya bastads, fade me. Im hot.

(b) to throw dice; thus shooter n.

[US]Dos Passos Three Soldiers 401: Slippery had taken dice from his pocket and was throwing them meditatively on the floor between his feet [...] ‘I’ll shoot you one of them bottles, Chris,’ he said.
[US]Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer 25: Slats shot the bones out of his hand.
[US]H. Williamson Hustler 137: I had went out and shot it [i.e. his last money] across the table [f.n.] and missed [footnote] Played craps].
[US]R. Sabbag Snowblind (1978) 52: Ike and Freddy were two shooters from Brooklyn who were so good they could make dice do tricks.

4. in senses of consumption or use.

(a) to get rid of, to expend.

[US]J. Hay Bread-Winners (1884) 240: If I had all the cash he takes in to-night, I’d buy an island and shoot the machine business.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Mexican Love Song’ 5 Nov. [synd. col.] When you’ve shot the entire bankroll an’ yer credit is a bust.
[US]Ade Hand-made Fables 84: He allows that he will shoot every Bean in the old Tin Box and die Poor.
[US]D. Parker ‘Big Blonde’ Penguin Dorothy Parker (1982) 194: ‘What the hell do you do with it?’ he would say. ‘Shoot it all on Scotch?’.
[US]F. Flora ‘Collector Comes after Payday’ in Best of Manhunt (2019) [ebook] Frankie shot a wad on fancy trimmings.
[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 6: Should I shoot the wad on junk?
[US]D. Ponicsan Last Detail 84: That shoots it [...] We’re leaving New York in just a few hours.
[US]J. Ellroy Silent Terror 11: ‘[Y]our mother and I don't get along; and if I give her much more time I'll have shot my good years’.

(b) to perform, to do.

[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 334: I heard that guy in the plug hat shootin’ the con, see?
[US]F. Packard White Moll 174: Give Pinkie a chance to shoot his spiel [...] Go on, Pinkie, spill it.
[US]O. Strange Sudden 135: ‘Shoot,’ he said. The cowboy was in no hurry.
[US]Kramer & Karr Teen-Age Gangs 50: ‘Shoot the works.’ There was a whirl of the juke box record wheeling into place, the scratching of the record.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Gone Fishin’ 48: By the time you’re ready to shoot, she’ll be dead slack.

(c) to consume.

[US]K. McGaffey Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. v: They don’t eat anything in Chicago but chop suey. Did you ever shoot any of that junk into your system.
[UK]C. Hume Cruel Fellowship 103: How about coming down to Brady’s and shooting a couple of beers?
K.C. Star 9 July n.p.: He’ll be darned if he is going to shoot cigarette snipes [DA].
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 146: She shot a speedball toddy and fell out at the party.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 6: shoot a beer – to drink a beer as fast as possible.
[Aus](con. 1964-65) B. Thorpe Sex and Thugs and Rock ’n’ Roll 194: I shot the whole glass.
[US]T. Pluck Boy from County Hell 140: They shot their shots.

(d) (Aus./US) to give, to pay for.

H. Hershfield Abie the Agent 3 Sept. [synd. cartoon strip] That left a dollar seventy five. Then I shot ten [cents] for this sody.
[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 55: You’ve been so many years shooting grub into a lot of roughnecks.
[US]B. Hecht A Thousand and One Afternoons [ebook] [L]ittle-girl gigglers and hard-faced dock wallopers and slick-haired lounge lizards [...] sidle up to Madge's counter [...] and shoot a dime for a wedding ring.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘My Life as a Creep’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 125: Lloyd got me the pad. My aunt shot me the coin.

5. (also shoot it (out)) to speak, to sing; to impart.

[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 54: Nine has now got the deck. Nine, shoot it out.
[US]C.S. Montanye ‘The Man Who Never Forgot’ in Detective Story 17 Dec. 🌐 ‘Shoot the piece,’ he said tersely. ‘I’m your man!’.
[US](con. 1917) J. Stevens Mattock 22: He laughed and shot a lot of Frog talk at Dorine.
[US]J.M. Cain Serenade (1985) 208: That’s a tough order, just to stand up there, on a cold stage, and shoot it.
[US]Z.N. Hurston ‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ Novels and Stories (1995) 1004: Jelly, de wind may blow and de door may slam; dat what you shooting ain’t worth a damn!
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Rock 90: Lubo is the boss-man. he shoots orders.
[US]T. Berger Reinhart in Love (1963) 129: Them folks should blow while you shoot me wisdom in the back room?
[US]L. Bangs in Psychotic Reactions (1988) 7: It was a sort of Zen koan [...] you could shoot that ’un their way and their analysis of it could either make peace or end up in a fist fight.
J. Elllroy Brown’s Requiem 33: ‘You got that information for me?’ ‘Hold on, Brownie. You got a pencil?’ ‘Yeah, shoot it’.
[Ire]F. Mac Anna Cartoon City 146: ‘Let me ask you a question,’ Myles said. ‘Shoot,’ Bob said.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 47: Jimmy H shot me a twenty-grand bank draft.

6. in drug uses.

(a) to inject (oneself with) a narcotic; usu. in comb. with the drug, e.g. shoot smack, to inject heroin; shoot coke, to inject cocaine; thus shooting n.

[US]F. Hutchison Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 70: ‘[I]f a doctor hadn’t [...] shot him full o’ dope he’d ’a had the snakes on the square’.
[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 11: He may last ’till Monday, Doc, if we shoot a little hop into him.
[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 75: shoot [...] Current amongst hypodermic habitues. To inject morphine or other drug with a syringe. Example; ‘How many times do you shoot a day?’.
[US]F. Packard Adventures of Jimmie Dale (1918) I xi: I’m going to shoot a little dope into you that’ll keep you quiet while I get away.
[US](con. 1900) Journal Amer. Instit. of Criminal Law and Criminology X Jan. 62–70: I got a job tending bar, and began to shoot morphine. When I first started to shoot I took it twice a day, morning and night, using the same amount for over two years.
[US]F. Williams Hop-Heads 69: Can’t smoke. Cops smell it. Easier to shoot in out of the way joints like this.
[US] ‘Experience’ in Lingenfelter et al. Songs of the Amer. West (1968) 324: But I quit my very first pay-day, / And got all gowed up to beat hell [...] And I learned about shootin’ from him.
[US]L. Berg Prison Nurse (1964) 79: Then, without cleaning his arm he ‘shot’ himself and settled back on his bunk.
[US]D. Maurer ‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in Lang. Und. (1981) 108/2: To shoot. To take narcotics hypodermically, either intravenously or under the skin.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 10: It takes at least three months’ shooting twice a day to get any habit at all.
[US](con. 1940s) H. Simmons Man Walking On Eggshells 155: Smack, that was junk you shot yourself with through a needle.
[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 150: Yeah, man, do you shoot stuff?
[US]Time 16 Mar. 18: I started hitting up once a day, and a couple of months later I started shooting two and three times a day.
[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 217: We gon let you shoot some of that when we get to the car.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 271: So that made shooting dope worthwhile.
[US]J. Wambaugh Secrets of Harry Bright (1986) 240: I did crystal. I admit. Snorted it. I didn’t shoot it.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 13: He supported his own oilburning habit slinging the same dope he shot.
[US]W.T. Vollmann Whores for Gloria 1: She injected into her arm, recalled in desperation the phrase ‘shooting the shit’, and so filled the needle with her own watery excrement and pumped it in.
[US]L. Stringer Grand Central Winter (1999) 81: You shoot coke?
[US]Source Oct. 154: It was like he had no more veins to shoot in.
[UK]Guardian G2 18 Aug. 19: Nah, I never shoot. I hate needles.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 16: A can tell that they avunt bin tooting or shooting secretly.
Dalton Vrij ‘Tying Off’ on 🌐 I have been shooting dope in my car for 30 fucking years and have never been hassled, why do I think that its not going to happen today?
[Scot](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 69: Rents made me agree we should wait [...] and shoot it [i.e. heroin] together.
[US]J. Stahl Bad Sex on Speed 30: I shoot the same go-fast that made Philip K. Dick a psychotic genius!
[US]N. Walker Cherry 224: [S]he met this guy and he was alright and he got her shooting dope. And there was a time she’d shot too much heroin.
[US]D. Winslow ‘Sunset’ in Broken 196: Terry, don’t do another shot. Terry, don’t shoot smack.

(b) to inject someone else with a narcotic.

[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 49: Baby Jack, who charges that Tobasco has kept him in a dormant state [...] by shooting him full of hop.
[US]R. Chandler Farewell, My Lovely (1949) 148: Dope. I had been shot full of dope to keep me quiet.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 199: How come you were shooting that girl in the arm.
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore.
[US]N.Y. Times Mag. 29 Oct. 27: They get some nice white chick [girl] [...] and they shoot her full of speed.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 125: A doc [...] shot me some righteous pain dope.

7. (US Und., also shoot it) to use explosive to open a safe.

[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 82: Slim [...] examined the safe. ‘Let’s get to work. We can shoot it in no time. Here, Scar-face, you do the drilling.’.
[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 172: He was ready to ‘shoot her.’ The make of the box required that the door be blown entirely out of place and the explosion seemed tremendous in the dead, quiet night.
[US]C.G. Givens ‘Chatter of Guns’ in Sat. Eve. Post 13 Apr.; list extracted in AS VI:2 (1930) 134: shoot it, v. Blow a safe.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).

8. to cheat someone.

[US]C. Himes Crazy Kill 104: You shot me, didn’t you. You shot me. You saw the seven-spot on the turn when you pulled it half-way out.

Meaning to speak

In phrases

shoot a good shot (v.)

(US black) to have a sophisticated verbal wit; to defeat someone in a verbal contest, e.g. dozens n.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 91: Young blacks early become connoisseurs of good and bad talk, of who shoots blanks and who shoots a good shot.
shoot off (v.)

see separate entry.

shoot on (v.) (US black)

1. to mock, to tease, to discredit.

[US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 94: I may shoot on d’ dude just to see where he’s comin’ from, what his reaction’s gonna be.

2. to talk seductively to.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 254: shoot on (one) [...] 2. Talk seductively and persuasively to a member of the opposite sex.
[US]E. Bunker Little Boy Blue (1995) 210: There’s a fine gabacha chick [...] I want to shoot on her.
shoot one’s best mack (v.) [mack n.2 (2)]

(US black) to make an all-out effort at seduction by one’s persuasive conversation.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 254: shoot (one’s) best mack 1. Talk as seductively and persuasively as possible to a member of the opposite sex. 2. Talk as effectively as one can.
shoot one’s gab (v.)

see under gab n.1

shoot straight (v.) (also shoot square)

to talk or behave openly, honestly or candidly.

[US](con. 1910s) S. Lewis Elmer Gantry 350: ‘These are folks I can shoot straight with,’ decided Elmer.
[US]K. Nicholson Barker III i: Are you sure you’re shootin’ square – to go off like this without a word?
[US]E.S. Gardner ‘Bird in the Hand’ in Goulart (1967) 268: You shoot square with me and I’ll shoot square with you.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 753: He wondered would he have done better by putting all his cards on the table and shooting square.
[UK]G. Kersh Night and the City 158: If you want to shoot straight, shoot straight.
[US]J. Thompson Getaway in Four Novels (1983) 57: Just shoot square with me, and you got no more trouble than a flea in a dog pound.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 21: He’s famous for shooting straight in business and everywhere.
[US](con. 1975–6) E. Little Steel Toes 9: And for all those Irish freckles, he somehow missed the Blarney stone. He shoots straight.
[US]I. Fitzgerald Dirtbag, Massachusetts 124: Kid, I like to shoot straight [...] so this is the real and true answer.

In phrases

shoot the breeze (v.) (also shoot the jive) [jive n.1 (2)]

(orig. US) to gossip, to talk idly; thus breeze shooter n.

Pittsburgh Sentinel (MA) 24 Sept. n.p.: Here the crew gathers at meal time or ‘shoot the breeze’ when off-watch.
[US]Indiana (PA) Weekly Messenger 10 June 10/1: ‘Wait a minute, Dad,’ I said. ‘I’m no cop. I just wanted to shoot the breeze with you.’.
[US]Bayler & Carnes Last Man Off Wake Island 123: The boys would come over and we’d ‘shoot the breeze’ in long bull-fests.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 28: He didn’t want to shoot the breeze.
[Aus]D. Niland Pairs and Loners 16: Do you know who I am, breeze-shooter?
[US]Babs Gonzales I Paid My Dues 96: He could now lounge in the bars shooting the jive with his colleagues.
[US]G. Cuomo Among Thieves 35: It felt good just shooting the breeze and taking it easy.
Capital (Annapolis, MD) 27 June 13/1: Breeze shooters, rag chewers with a gift of the gab.
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 145: Lounging on the yard and shooting the breeze.
[US]C. Heath A-Team 2 (1984) 37: Have you picked up anything we can use yet? [...] Or are they just shooting the breeze?
Greenville News (SC) 3 Feb. 4B/1: A full corps of breeze shooters has found its way to the Powell home. ‘Something about the fire just draws people’.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 13 June 57: We have these great telephone conversations where we just shoot the breeze about stuff.
[UK]Financial Times Weekend Mag. 10–11 Jan. 44/3: Donkin shoots the breeze with brewer and sailor Jonathan Adnams.
[Ire]L. McInerney Glorious Heresies 22: [T]hey’d [...] shoot the breeze about easy women and anarchy.
[Aus]C. Hammer Scrublands [ebook] Sometimes we’d shoot the breeze. Drink moonshine’.
[US](con. 1963) L. Berney November Road 9: ‘Can’t a fella just call to shoot the breeze?’.
shoot the con (v.) (also shoot con) [con n.1 (10)]

(US tramp) to talk nonsense.

[US]H. Green Mr. Jackson 290: Five more minutes o’ the lady shootin’ the con at me [...] an’ I’d been the little lady’s feeancy.
[US]G. Milburn ‘Toledo Slim’ Hobo’s Hornbook 194: For when it came to doozy looks, that ‘Tommy’ was queen. / We chewed the rag for quite a while, I shot con for fair.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 131: We chewed the rag for quite a while and shot the con for fair / and when it came to spreadin’ jive, you could gamble that I was there.
shoot the gift (v.) [SE gift of the gab] (US black)

1. to gossip, to talk idly.

[US]G. Smitherman Black Talk.
R. Hardy Streiker’s Morning Sun 146: ‘Thats what he told me too’ […] ‘He shoot the gift with you?’ [...] they shared stories of what Fletcher had told them.

2. to rap well.

dr smithabeat on Urban Dict. 🌐 shoot the gift Demonstrate one’s capacity for lyricism. See spit. I move swift and uplift your mind, shoot the gift when I riff in rhyme – Nas.
Wu-Tang Clan ‘Gravel Pit’ 🎵 on W [album] Yo, step to my groove, move like this / When we shoot the gift of course it’s ruthless / Grab the mic with no excuses.
shoot (the) shit (v.) [shit n. (4a)]

to gossip, to chat; to talk nonsense.

N. Mailer letter3 Mar. in Selected Letters (2014) 54: It’s been so good shooting the shit with you.
[US]L. Bruce Essential Lenny Bruce 203: I’m gonna come over, we’ll shoot the shit.
[UK]T. Lewis Plender [ebook] ‘Don’t shoot shit. I’m telling you, she was in here’.
[US]J. Heller Good As Gold (1979) 198: I’ll be shooting the shit with the Adjutant and the Bailiff.
[UK]J. Bradner Danny Boy 95: Whole day he smoking joint, and shooting shit!
[Can]O.D. Brooks Legs 45: You weren’t shooting the shit when you said it beat coffee.
[UK]J. Mowry Way Past Cool 212: Give it to one of them clones an he slide over an shoot shit with the Gamer.
[US]S. Grafton O is for Outlaw (2000) 390: Maybe I’d accompany Malcolm and his girlfriend to the kegger out on campus, have a beer, shoot the shit.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 129: Him and Slide Henderson playing stud poker and shooting the shit.
[UK]I. McDowall A Study in Death 101: They shot shit for a good half-hour on either side of the matter.
[UK](con. 1980) N. ‘Razor’ Smith A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 223: The gang used to meet there to drink cider and shoot the shit.
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 314: He shoots the shit with his lovely assistant.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 235: I was thinking we’d go for a beer [...] Maybe shoot the shit some.
[US]J. Stahl OG Dad 93: We shoot the shit together before the madness commences.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 187: Folks tumbled tables, noshed and shot the shit.
[Ire]P Howard Braywatch 248: We sit there for the next few hours, shooting the shit.

Meaning to ejaculate or have sexual intercourse

In phrases

shoot in the bush (v.) (also shoot over the stubble) [stubble n.]

to ejaculate prematurely, and outside the vagina.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues VII 15/2: To shoot over the stubble (or in the bush) = to ejaculate before intromission.
shoot one’s bolt (v.) [SE bolt as literary euph. for penis]

1. to ejaculate, usu. prematurely .

[UK] ‘Trial of Joseph and Mary’ Coventry Mysteries (1841) 136: A cockoldeis bowe is eche nyght bent. He that shett the bolt is lyke to be schent.
[UK]Dekker Satiromastix II i: Heere is Sir Adam Prickshaft, a sentleman [sic] of a very good braine, and well headed: you see he shootes his bolt sildome, but when Adam lets goe, he hits.
[UK]Middleton Women Beware Women III iii: I’ll not stand all day thrumming, / But quickly shoot my bolt at our next coming.
[UK]Parliament of Women B4: Then rose up Mrs. Rattlebooby, and said I intreat that I may have a finger in the pye too as well as the rest: a fooles bolt (like my husbands) is soon shot.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 58: When I had shot my bolt she kept right on coming.
[Aus](con. 1940s–60s) Hogbotel & ffuckes ‘The Good Ship Venus’ Snatches and Lays 87: He shot his bolt with such a jolt, he wrecked the bloody galley.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 27: There’s a fair risk you might shoot your bolt too soon.
[UK]Indep. Mag. 19 June 35: That was in the days before [...] shooting your bolt meant premature ejaculation.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 187: shoot your bolt Male sexual ejaculation. ANZ.

2. see also SE phrs. below.

shoot one’s load (v.)

see under load n.

shoot one’s milt (v.) [SE milt, seed]

to ejaculate.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 1058/1: mid-C.19–20.
shoot one’s roe (v.) [SE roe, seed]

to ejaculate.

[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 51: There was a gay parson of Tooting / Whose roe he was frequently shooting.
[UK]Cremorne I 28: Dolly was ticklimng my balls, till at last I shot my roe again.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
shoot the cat (v.) [the penis (i.e. the gun n.1 (2)) shoots the cat n.1 (2a), i.e. pubic hair]

1. to have sexual intercourse.

[US] (ref. to 1880s) in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 169: ‘And I’ll show you a game that we call Shoot the Cat.’ [...] Sung as above by Mr. F.H., Berryville, Arkansas, October 21, 1950. He learned it in Carrol County, Arkansas, in the 1880s.

2. see also SE phrs. below.

shoot the owl (v.) [SE owl as synon. for the pubic hair]

(US) to ejaculate outside one’s partner’s body as a crude form of contraception.

[US](con. 1900s) in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 768: Stick it in her ass-hole, / Listen to her howl, / Waltz the hall and / Shoot the owl.
shoot white (v.) [the colour of semen]

to ejaculate.

[US]‘J.M. Hall’ Anecdota Americana I 26: When did Evelyn Nesbit Thaw really love her husband? When he shot White.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 1058/2: from ca. 1870.

Other uses

shoot it (v.)

1. see sense 2b above.

2. see sense 7 above.

shoot it (out) (v.)

see sense 5 above.

shoot over (v.)

to go (quickly) to a place.

[UK]C. Holme Lonely Plough (1931) 24: We’re shooting over to Bluecaster.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 116: Night after night [...] we’d shoot over to my place for a record-playing session.
[US](con. 1920s) ‘Harry Grey’ Hoods (1953) 146: Let’s shoot over, it’s urgent.
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 231: There’s this geez’ who’s been pulled, Terry. Eh, look, should I shoot over? I don’t want to talk about it on the phone.
shoot the pit (v.) [cockfighting j. a cowardly bird attempts to flee the cock-pit]

(US) to leave (esp. hastily or suddenly).

[US]Long-Island Star (Brooklyn, NY) 7 June 3/1: The Capt. bowed, took another glass at the charge against him, and shot the pit.
[US]Albany Microscope (NY) 2 June n.p.: Alexander Douglass [...] ‘shot the pit’ for New York.
[US]Extra Globe (DC) 23 Apr. 80/3: Every friend of Mr Van Buren who had not ‘shot the pit’ voted in the negative.
[US]Standard (Georgetown, OH) 10 Sept. n.p./5: Of these, John W. Allen had voted a moment before, and shot the pit, on this question, to avoid voting.
[US]G. Thompson Anna Mowbray 11: Shoot the pit, lads – the hounds are out! Guinea Bill has betrayed you!
[US]Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) 3 Apr. 1/4: Some forty [Republicans] were not present at roll call [...] The whole scene was very amusing to the Democrats, who laughed to see their opponents ‘shoot the pit’.
Buffalo Commercial (NY) 12 Sept. 1/5: [headline] Tammany ‘Shoots the Pit!’.
shoot to (v.)

see sense 2c above.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

shoot-out (n.)

1. a gun battle.

Colliers Mag. 87 19: She counted on him to prevent a shoot-out if he could; counted on him because he was the only one in the Lazy M posse who had his right senses.
[US]Howsley Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl. 22 1: I used to be a cop. And when I would be in a shoot-out, it was a fire fight for me.
[US]T. Runyon In For Life 34: We were traveling by stolen car, subject to a shoot-out at any time.
[US]D. Goines Inner City Hoodlum 214: Spence was the victor in a shoot-out with his boss.
[US]Ice-T ‘Six in the Morning’ 🎵 Deuced it to the Bronx to rest our heads / Where a shoot out jumped off nine people lay dead.
[UK]V. Headley Yardie 74: Reports of the shoot-out had circulated throughout town.
[UK]Observer Mag. 9 Jan. 11: Orlando was killed [...] in an unrelated shoot-out.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 339: Kid has balls [...] How he went after Hastings. Could’ve walked into the middle of that shootout.

2. a decisive confrontation.

[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 213: shoot out, n. – an extremely violent argument.

In phrases

I’ll be shot (if) (also I’m shot if, may I be shot, shot if)

a strong expression of denial or refusal.

[UK]Sterne Tristram Shandy (1949) 293: If she can, I’ll be shot, said my father.
[UK]J. Kennedy Raising the Wind in Coll. Farces I (1815) 134: Mr Jeremiah Diddler—Dang it, what a fine seal! and I’ll be shot if it don’t feel like a bank-note.
[UK] ‘Thinks I To Myself, Thinks I’ Universal Songster I 25: I’ll be shot if the last boy’s nose belongs to the spectacle-maker.
[US]J.K. Paulding Westward Ho! II 97: I’ll be shot if he don’t talk more like common sense than many roarers I have heard make speeches in court.
[UK]Marryat Mr Midshipman Easy II 57: I’ll be shot, but we’re in a pretty scrape; there’s no hushing this up.
[UK]A. Smith Adventures of Mr Ledbury I 235: I’m shot, if it ain’t Letty brought home bad!
[UK]Dickens Bleak House (1991) 87: ‘I’ll be shot if it ain’t very curious how well I know that picture!
[UK]Trollope Three Clerks (1869) 549: Well, I’ll be shot if I guess any more.
[Ind]‘Mr Carlisle’ Stray Leaves 141: How I did grumble and growl [...] ‘I’ll be shot if you ever catch me here again’.
[UK]C.J. Lever Bramleighs of Bishop’s Folly 163: If you utter any stupid rubbish against the Union Jack, I’ll be shot if I don’t drop you over the sea-wall for a ducking.
[UK]Leeds Times 22 Apr. 6/3: Be shot if i quite know myself what ‘pheumatics’ means.
[US]J.H. Nicholson ‘Bunkum in Parvo’ Opal Fever 106: Alpine, amazed, said ‘Well, may I be shot!’.
[UK]G. Stables From Squire to Squatter [ebook] ‘I’ll be shot if I budge!’ ‘You’ll be shot if you don’t. Gee up, I say; gee up!’.
[Aus]Aus. Jrnl 25 140/2: What the devil a man could see in a painted wench like that I’ll be shot if I can understand.
[UK]Marvel 12 Nov. 3: I’ll be shot if you are not correct!
[UK]Marvel 5 June 3: Shot if I know.
I shot him lightly and he died politely

(US black) a phr. implying that the speaker has had the better of an opponent, verbally or physically.

[US]Z.N. Hurston ‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ Novels and Stories (1995) 1009: I shot him lightly and he died politely: I completely outdid him.
[US]R.S. Gold ‘Vernacular of the Jazz World’ in AS XXXII:4 279: I shot him lightly and he died politely. I completely outdid him.
on the shoot [the equation of sex and violence]

(Aus./US) involved in fighting, warfare.

[US]‘Mark Twain’ Innocents at Home 345: They considered it small credit to add to their trophies [...] the death of a man who was ‘not on the shoot,’ as they phrased it.
[US]Caldwell Post 9 Sept. in Miller & Snell Why the West was Wild 243: His arrest being determined upon, the police scattered out to effect the same. They were told Smith was a ‘bad’ one and quite on the shoot.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 13 Jan. 11/2: The man who doesn’t want to go on the shoot is a very small person just now.
shoot a dog (v.)

(US) to defecate.

[US]L.W. Payne Jr ‘Word-List From East Alabama’ in DN III:v 369: shoot a dog, v. To go to stool.
shoot a moon (v.)

see under moon n.

shoot at (v.)

to make (sexual) advances towards.

[US]C. Himes Crazy Kill 11: She wondered if Doll Baby was shooting at Johnny Perry.
[US]H. Rhodes Chosen Few (1966) 58: Baby, you got th’ choice price ... evahbody is shootin’ at that fox.
shoot cuffs (v.) [SAmE cuffs, trouser turn-ups (UK)]

(US black) to grab someone’s legs and bring them down, as part of a fight.

[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 58: I learned how to shoot cuffs [...] a deceptive move, it’s done by faking a swing at the opponent’s face, then diving to his ankles to snatch his legs from under him.
shoot (dead) (v.)

(Aus.) to dismiss from a job.

[US]Cincinnati Enquirer 7 Sept. 10/7: Fired, Banged, Shot Out—When a performer is discharged he is one of the above.
shoot down (v.) (also shoot down in flames)

1. to reject an invitation to dance or go for a date.

[US]N.Y. Herald Trib. 23 Nov. 2/4: A friend in the R.A.F. sends us a report on the current state of slang in the British Isles: [...] ‘I was shot down in flames’ means a man has fallen hard for a girl.
[US]Yank (Far East edn) 24 Mar. 18/2–3: Some of today’s teen-agers – pleasantly not many – talk the strange new language of ‘sling swing.’ In the bright lexicon of the good citizens of tomorrow [...] To be jilted is to be ‘shot down in flames’.
[US]W. King ‘The Game’ in King Black Short Story Anthol. (1972) 301: The most difficult part of making the broad wasn’t the shoot-down.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 195: Turned down when asking for a date.
[US]Current Sl. III:1 11: Shoot down, v. To terminate a relationship with a member of the opposite sex.
[US](con. 1950s) H. Junker ‘The Fifties’ in Eisen Age of Rock 2 (1970) 102: In that case, if he didn’t get shot down (stood up), he might suggest catching a flick.
[US](con. 1960s) R. Price Wanderers 126: Two shattered egos, having been shot down a total of twenty-six times.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 247: Like some creep trying to grab a slow dance at a mixer and getting shot down by every girl.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 6: shoot down – for a girl to turn down a date.

2. to humiliate, to ridicule.

[UK]Bulletins from Britain 11 Dec. 3: TO SHOOT DOWN IN FLAMES. To give someone a bawling out.
[UK]C.H. Ward-Jackson It’s a Piece of Cake 54: Shot down in flames, hopelessly beaten at anything.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 138: Many of them are shot down by his sharp tongue.
[US]C. Bukowski Erections, Ejaculations etc. 224: Don’t let this little Flo bring you down, don’t let her shoot you down, man. You can make it.
[US](con. 1967) E. Spencer Welcome to Vietnam (1989) 153: The Mexican’s moment of triumph is shot down in flames.
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 34: Our overseer did seem like a bastard. Just the way he had gleefully shot down that late guy made me hate his guts.
[US]C. Hiaasen Lucky You 300: Krome’s tenuous martyrdom still hadn’t been shot down in a hail of embarrassing personal revelations.

3. to reject a line of argument, to overrule an opinion.

[UK]Listener 3 Sept. 351/1: This is the way in which we shoot down cosmological theories.
[US]B. Seale Seize the Time 28: They tried to shoot Huey down by citing some passage in a book [...] He shot me down too, just like he shot a whole lot of people down.
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 54: She has shot me down.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘The Yellow Peril’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] What I thought, and you can shoot me down in flames on this one if you like . . .
[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 247: If I had said, No way a uniformed spastic gets invited to a plain-clothes do, then Drummond would have been the first to shoot me down in flames.

4. to place at a disadvantage.

[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 80: Sweetheart daddy, you already shot me down.
[US]Milner & Milner Black Players 132: Red got busted and he got shot down by the Man.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 62: He shot Mama down within an hour after she met him.

5. (US prison) to reject a parole application.

[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 342: ‘I hear the board dumped you.’ ‘They shot me down a year.’.
shoot-’em-up (n.) [the predominant on-screen/on-page activity]

1. (orig. US) a Hollywood Western film.

[US]T. Heggen Mister Roberts 8: That miserable bastard had a chance to get a really good movie [...] and he took this damn shoot-em-up!
[US]A. Anderson ‘Schooldays in North Carolina’ Lover Man 92: ‘What’s on?’ Jimmy Clark said [...] ‘A shoot-em-up,’ Lightning said.
[UK]Guardian Guide 31 July–6 Aug. 65: Paul Newman makes an impressive Buffalo Bill Cody [...] whose staged shoot-’em-ups defined the Old West.
[US]R. Gordon Can’t Be Satisfied 139: [T]he TV broadcasting a [...] shoot-'em-up.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 59: There was nothing on [...] except shoot-em-up cowboy stuff.
[US]G. & K. Swarthout Whichaway (1967) 6: [of Arizona] Its glorious, wild-and-woolly, shoot-’em-up past.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. 18 July 21: They begged Hollywood to go easy on the shoot’em-up brand of summer movie.
[Aus]B. Matthews Intractable [ebook] I had just survived a hectic full-on shoot ’em up car chase.

3. (US, also shootum) a ‘Western’ book or short story.

[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 265: I might as well read shoot-’em-ups, for all the value I get from what I do read.
[US]C. Bukowski Erections, Ejaculations etc. 86: Looks at baseballs games and cowboy shootums on TV.
shoot for (v.)

to aim for, to target; often as shooting for, e.g. he’s got 50 runs and now he’s shooting for a century; thus shooter n., one who aims at something or makes an effort, thus (US black) shoot for the side pocket and scratch, to fail in one’s efforts.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Dec. 14/2: Tim was wan iv the shooters fer the hand ’n’ affections [...] iv Mary Ann Lacy, widdy woman, 30 years ’n’ more maybe.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 19: They shoot for rolls of nickels and we shoot the roll. Millions!
[US]D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam News 13 Apr. 20: I’m shooting for the side pocket but scratch every time [...] I keep my fingers crossed but stub my toes.
[US]Mad mag. Sept.–Oct. 15: Shoot for them big profits.
[US]T. Southern ‘Twirling at Ole Miss’ in Red Dirt Marijuana (1973) 137: Such girls are usually championship material, shooting for the nationals.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 226: As long as I know what I’m shooting for here.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 14: A thirdrate magician shooting for a comeback on the cartoon napkin circuit.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 6 Jan. 10: I started writing songs when I was 14 and I’d say that Hank Williams and Bob Dylan in equal amounts were what I was shooting for.
shoot from the hip (v.) [Western film imagery]

(orig. US) to attack a problem head-on, to be a tough, purposeful performer; also attrib.

Auden Orators II 66: Heathcliffe before you as the newspaper peer: I’m the sea dog, he said, who shall steer this ship [...], I succour the State, I shoot from the hip.
[US]Amer. Econ. Rev. 41 92: Sometimes problems can be studied at leisure. Very often, the executive has to shoot from the hip .
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 138: You’re shooting from the hip, Carlito.
[US]D. Pinckney High Cotton (1993) 53: His mother’s friends didn’t coo, pinch his cheeks [...] They came in shooting from the hip, as I saw it. He’d already tasted beer.
[UK]Guardian G2 26 Jan. 9: Shooting from the hip! Telling it like it is!
[UK]Guardian G2 5 May 4: Blair was back in punchy, shoot-from-the-hip form.
[SA]Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg) 25 Sept. 🌐 Always remember, it’s fine to shoot from the hip, as long as your gun is loaded.
[SA]Big Issue (Cape Town) 10 Jan. 43/3: [heading] Shooting from the hip.
shoot in (v.) [SE shoot in, to throw in]

(Aus.) to put in prison; usu. as shot in, imprisoned.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 25 Aug. n.p.: (5) If you have another you won’t be able to get home. (6) If you don’t get home, and you sleep in the open, you’re sure to get shot in. (7) If you miss getting shot in you’ll be run over by a tram or fall in the harbor.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 187: shoot in Put in jail [...] From 1910.
shoot into the brown (v.) [in rifle practice the outermost part of the target, denoting a ‘miss’, is brown; but note shooting jargon into the brown, an indiscriminate blast into the heart of a covey of passing birds. By extension this was used by sporting officers of firing into a large group of advancing (brown-uniformed) troops]

(orig. milit.) to fail.

[UK] (ref. to c.1860) in J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.
shoot London Bridge (v.) [? a nonce usage; see cit. 1699 ]

to have sexual intercourse.

[UK]N. Ward London Spy VI 140: She can show you how the Water-men shoot London-Bridge, or how the Lawyers go to Westminster.
shoot off (v.)

see separate entry.

shoot one’s best shot (v.)

see under shot n.1

shoot one’s bolt (v.)

1. to give everything one has, to be incapable of further effort.

[UK]Mankind line 782: How sey ye ser my bolte is schett.
[UK]Holinshed Irish Chronicle 15: But if I may craue your patience, to tyme you see me shoote my bolt.
[UK]Nashe Praise of the Red Herring 39: And to shoote my fooles bolt amongst you.
[UK]R. Armin Nest of Ninnies 15: You know a fooles bolt is soone shot.
[UK]Chapman Widow’s Tears I ii: If she do, let them shoot their bolts and spare not.
[UK]R. Brome City Wit III ii: I have charg’d you not to shoot your bolt, before you understand your mark.
[UK]R. L’Estrange Fables of Aesop CXVI 109: What’s a Character of Honour upon the shoulders of a Man that has neither a Soul [...] or a True Sense of the Dignity, but a Mark set up for every Common Fool to shoot his Bolt at!
[UK]F. Fane Love in the Dark III i: Hold a little, my Masters. A fools bolt is soon shot.
[UK]Humours of a Coffee-House 2 Jan. 83: ’Tis plain we ought not to take it as an Affront, but Laugh at him [...] a Fool’s Bolt is soon shot.
[UK]Swift Polite Conversation 26: Miss, and you have shot your Bolt: I find you must have the last Word.
[UK]Smollett (trans.) Adventures of Gil Blas I 38: Every one having shot his bolt, the captain said [...] ‘I advise thee as a friend to joke no more with monks.’.
[UK]B.H. Malkin (trans.) Adventures of Gil Blas (1822) I 271: The wits shot their bolts by turns, but they made no impression on the fool.
[Scot]R.L. Stevenson Kidnapped 278: I had shot my bolt and sat speechless.
[UK]Kipling Light that Failed 165: You’ve shot your bolt here and it has gone home. Go away and do some work, and see some things.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 31 Mar. 24/2: They went palpably weak several times and came again, though in the last few rounds of the 13 fought it could be plainly seen that Higgins had shot his bolt, and it was only a matter of time when he would reach the end of his tether.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Aug. 10/3: It does not know when it is done, and will jump on long after the equally well-conditioned commoner has thrown it up, and collapsed on its pilot. [...] Any intelligent judge knows from the stand when a steeplechaser has shot its bolt.
[UK]Western Times 1 Nov. 2/2: Lord kitchener [...] expressed the opinion that Germany had almost shot her bolt in Russia.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 505: He shot his bolt, I can tell you!
[Ire]S. Beckett Murphy (1963) 16: Mr. Kelly fell back. His bolt was shot.
[US]S. Longstreet Decade 108: I’ve shot my bolt on that picture.
[US]I. Bolton ‘Many Mansions’ in N.Y. Mosaic (1999) 429: It was then she’d shot her bolt.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 30: Fellows who had more or less shot their bolt after saying ‘Eh, what?’.
[US] in S. Harris Hellhole 188: I’d come pretty close to overshooting my bolt.
[US]J. Langone Life at the Bottom 69: We have shot our bolt.
[Ire]B. Geldof Is That It? 203: We didn’t even bother trying to tour the States. After the Mondo Bongo fiasco we had shot our bolt there.
[UK]N. ‘Razor’ Smith A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 471: I’ve shot my bolt as far as trying to escape is concerned.

2. (S.Afr., also shoot the bolt) to run off.

[SA]Casey ‘Kid’ Motsisi ‘Mattress’ Casey and Co. (1978) 20: I shoot the bolt home and make for bed.

3. (Aus.) to make a confession.

[Aus]‘Geoffrey Tolhurst’ Flat 4 King’s Cross (1966) 12: Dad shot his bolt and told me that he was going to marry Beryl, the barmaid in the pub at the end of the road.

4. see also sl. phrs. above.

shoot one’s cuff(s) (v.) (also shoot one’s linen) [the ‘shooting’ of the cuffs – making them project fashionably beyond the jacket sleeves – that is indulged in by the well-dressed]

to dress up as smartly as one can, or generally present oneself in the most positive way possible.

E. Yates in World (N.Y.) 16 Jan. n.p.: Adjust your curls, your linen shoot, your coat wide open fling [F&H].
‘A Plain Woman’ Poor Nellie I 193: He was dressed in the height of fashion [...] and he ‘shot his linen’ in style.
[US]D.G. Phillips Susan Lenox II 38: He ‘shot’ his cuffs with a gesture of careless elegance that his cuff links might assist in the picture of the ‘swell dresser’ he felt he was posing.
[UK]A.A. Milne Dover Road in Three Plays (1922) Act I: (Unconsciously he has shot his cuff, and sees suddenly the note he has made).
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 125: I could see that my words were not being wasted. Shooting my cuffs, I resumed.
[Ire]H. Leonard Da (1981) Act I: I had just propelled an erudite remark across the table and was about to shoot my cuffs, lose my head and chance another.
[US]E. Weiner Howard the Duck 27: There was Ginger, shooting his cuffs and making sure he could be seen.
[US]C. Hiaasen Native Tongue 34: Charles Chelsea stood up, shot his cuffs.
shoot oneself in the foot (v.)

(orig. US) to blunder so that one harms oneself or exposes oneself to further hardship.

Lansing State Jrnl (MI) 27 Oct. 29/3: Headlee, GOP candidate or governor, has ‘shot himself in the foot’.
[UK]Guardian Weekend 5 June 33: It means shooting himself in both feet.
[UK]Indep. 7 Apr. 19: Bank on Barclays to shoot itself in the foot.
[UK]Stage (London) 11 Jan. 9/1: One’s immediate reaction [...] is that as agent poor Barrie has shot himself in the foot.
shoot someone out (v.)

(US Und.) to prepare someone for a given occupation.

[US]B. Jackson Thief’s Primer 60: shoot her out: train for some profession; a pimp shooting out a girl is getting her into his stable.

In phrases

shoot the cat (v.) (also shoot a cat)

1. to vomit [var. on whip the cat v. (3)].

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Marryat King’s Own II 181: I’m cursedly inclined to shoot the cat.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]E. de la Bédollière Londres et les Anglais 313/1: shoot the cat, (Voy, Accounts).
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Bird o’ Freedom (Sydney) 28 Feb. 2/1: People who ‘shoot the cat’ are not legally compelled to take out a gun license.
[UK]‘William Juniper’ True Drunkard’s Delight.
[UK]Barr & York Sloane Ranger Hbk 159: shoot a cat v. Vomit.

2. see also sl. phrs. above.

shoot the crow (v.) [ety. unknown]

1. to leave without paying.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues VI 1187/2: to shoot the crow = to run off without paying.

2. (Scot.) to leave; craw is Scot. pron.

[Scot](con. mid-1960s) J. Patrick Glasgow Gang Observed 97: He had been serving twenty-eight days detention in the last week of which he had ‘shot the craw’ and ‘jolted’.
[Scot]I. Welsh Trainspotting 192: Whin the auld man shot the craw, ah managed to cajole ma Ma intae giein us a couple ay her valium.
[Scot]T. Black Gutted 96: Now you’ve rattled the filth it’s time to shoot the crow.
[Scot]T. Black Ringer [ebook] n.p.: If he found out about this before I shoot the crow , then I’d be dead meat.
shoot the curve (v.) [? fig. use of SE shoot the curve, to go round a bend fast, but why?]

1. (US prison) to negotiate privileges, esp. a drug supply.

[US]D. Maurer ‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in Lang. Und. (1981) 108/2: To shoot the curve. [...] 2. To connive in prison to secure certain privileges, often drugs.

2. (US drugs) to buy narcotics.

[US]D. Maurer ‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in Lang. Und. (1981) 108/2: To shoot the curve. 1. To purchase drugs from a peddler.
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore.
shoot the gulf (v.) [see cit. 1725]

to succeed in a very hard task, to achieve the impossible; given sexual context cite 1645 suggests a double entendre on gulf n. (1)

[UK]J. Howell letter in Epistolæ Ho-Elianæ (1650) II 40: Your last you sent me was from Genoa, where you write that [...] ‘Husbands get their wives with child a hundred miles off’[...] In Venice there also such things are done by proxy, while the husband is abroad upon the Gallies, ther be others that shoot his gulf at home .
[UK]Defoe Voyage round World (1840) 16: Such a mighty and valuable thing also was the passing this strait (the Straits of Magellan) that Sir Francis Drake’s going through it gave birth to that famous old wives’ saying viz., that Sir Francis Drake shot the gulf; a saying that was current in England for many years [...] as if there had been but one gulf in the world .
shoot the lights out (v.) [fig. marksmanship]

(US) to excel, to perform outstandingly.

[US]D. Jenkins Dead Solid Perfect 56: If you couldn't shoot the lights out at Goat Hills, then you needed Pretty Boy Floyd or John Dillinger for a partner.
[UK]Guardian G2 14 July 4: All he wants to do is shoot the lights out.
shoot the pill (v.) (also shoot the peel) [pill n. (1g)]

(US black/campus) to shoot baskets, to play a pick-up game of basketball.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 6: shoot the pill/peel – play basketball.
[US]Jose Chambers in Cruz Straight Outta Compton 8: Once upon a time in a land called metropolis where little boys expressed their feelings in one particular way, shooting the pill.
shoot the willie (v.) [? the single finger represents a willie n.5 ]

(US campus) to make a derisory, insulting gesture by raising the middle finger.

[US]Baker et al. CUSS 222: Willie, shoot the To gesture with the middle finger.
shoot the works (v.) [works, the n.] (US)

1. to vomit.

[US]W.R. Morse ‘Stanford Expressions’ in AS II:6 278: shoot the works—vomit.

2. (also shoot the roll, …wad) to commit oneself absolutely, to make every effort no matter what the cost.

[US]O.O. McIntyre New York Day by Day 26 Mar. [synd. col.] I put a dime. In the plate. And with a pompous air. Said; ‘Shoot the works’.
[US]S.V. Benét Young People’s Pride 190: There’s one thing I can’t do – and that is get away with a thing like that on false pretences – I’d rather shoot the works on one roll and crap than use the sort of dice that behave.
[US]E. O’Neill Hairy Ape Act VII : I’m reg’lar. I’ll stick, get me? I’ll shoot de woiks for youse.
[UK]Wodehouse Carry on, Jeeves 172: I decided to shoot the works with no more delay.
[US]W.R. Burnett Dark Hazard (1934) 47: If he’d been at Caliente he’d sure have shot the works on that big chestnut horse.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 114: No doubt [...] he had shot the works about sunsets and fair princesses.
[US]Howsley Argot: Dict. of Und. Sl. 45: shoot the works, roll, wad – risk all; give all.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 5: We had a yen [...] to strut and act biggity and shoot the works.
[US]W.P. McGivern Big Heat 171: He had to gamble now, shoot the works behind his hunch.
[UK]G. Lambert Inside Daisy Clover (1966) 40: Wait for 1-2-3-Go! and shoot the works.
[US]J. Wambaugh Golden Orange (1991) 76: When the menus came, Tess told Winnie to shoot the works.
[US](con. 1954) ‘Jack Tunney’ Tomato Can Comeback [ebook] Braxton was shooting the works, trying to finish him.

3. to make a full confession; to speak candidly.

[US]Black Mask Aug. III 8: It was up to him to shoot the works.
[US]J.L. Kuethe ‘Johns Hopkins Jargon’ in AS VII:5 336: to shoot the works—to tell everything.
[US]V.G. Burns Female Convict (1960) 52: C’mon, come clean, shoot the works, yer know yer can trust me, pal.
[US]W.M. Raine Cool Customer 125: Shoot the works [...] Hell, come clean.
[US]Lindsay & Crouse State of the Union Act II: You didn’t have to be afraid of shooting the works. That’s the way they want to hear you talk.
[US](con. 1890s) S.H. Adams Tenderloin 258: Tell him he can shoot the works.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) Décharné Straight from the Fridge Dad.

4. to die.

[US]J.L. Kuethe ‘Johns Hopkins Jargon’ in AS VII:5 336: to shoot the works—to die.

5. to have an orgasm.

[US] ‘The Real Silk Hosiery Salesman’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 49: Kiss me harder in the O hole honey, I’m going to shoot the works.
shoot through (v.)

(Aus./N.Z.) to leave, to exit quickly; in milit. context, to go absent without leave.

[Aus]Aus. Women’s Wkly 1 Dec. 2/3: ‘Going through’ or ‘shooting through’ meant anything from desertion to evading a fatigue in prisoner-of-war life.
[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 141: Might shoot through to Haifa.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Gone Fishin’ 195: Why did yer have to shoot through, an’ leave me there like a shag on a rock?
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 18: ‘You aren’t thinking of derting, are you?’ [...] ‘If I wanted to shoot through I’d do it right here in good old Sydney’.
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 122: We were only coming back for a day or two then we were going to shoot through.
[Aus]G.A. Wilkes Exploring Aus. Eng. 7: An Australian in England, concluding a conversation with ‘It’s after 5.30. I’ll have to shoot through,’ found the other party bemused, puzzled at the reference to firearms.
[UK]K. Lette Mad Cows 193: Fathers in this area had shot through long ago.
[Aus]J. Byrell Lairs, Urgers & Coat-Tuggers xviii: [A]fter which she shot through with a visiting Yank commerce man from Iowa.
[Aus]P. Temple Truth 119: Looking at Luke, weeks after his mother had shot through [etc.].
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 49: Promising to build luxury resports before shooting through with your money.
[Aus]C. Hammer Opal Country 93: ‘What do you know about Elsie McGee, the victim’s daughter?’ [...] ‘Shot through years ago’.
shoot through on someone (v.)

of a partner, to leave, to desert.

[Aus]G. Disher Consolation 26: ‘Heard she shot through on him when the kid was a baby’.
shoot through the grease (v.)

(US black/campus) to let down, to betray, to deceive, to victimize.

[US]‘SWAP Dict. Teen-age Sl’ in Ebony Mar. 98/2: Shot through the grease: given a hard time — as in, ‘Man that cat got shot through the grease.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 195: Shoot through the grease Lie.
[US]R.T. Sale Blackstone Rangers 124: ‘Man, don’t you know, them hotel people, they’re trying to shoot us both through the grease’.
shoot up

see separate entries.

In exclamations