Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shot n.1

1. money, esp. an amount that is due to be paid or one’s share of it, e.g. at a tavern; also attrib.

[UK]J. Heywood Four P.P. in Farmer Dramatic Writings (1905) 38: Sir, after drinking, while the shot is tinking; Some heads be swimming, but mine will be sinking.
[UK]Udall (trans.) Erasmus’ Apophthegms (1564) Bk I 96: He came no whither without bearing his porcion of the shot for his repast.
[UK]Misogonus in Farmer (1906) II i: A makeshift comes in, Offering to be partaker in the shot [...] What’s the shot, hostess? he says.
[UK]Greene Notable Discovery of Coosnage 47: There he bestowed cheare and ipcras vpon them, drinking hard til the shot came to a noble.
Dobson’s Dry Bobs n.p.: And as for the shot I will defray it everie farthing.
[UK]J. Taylor ‘Taylors Travels’ in Works (1869) III 78: So this terrible shot being discharged (which in the total amounted to the sum of sixpenze English).
[UK]Gossips Braule 8: Give me my shott, give me my Money.
[UK] ‘The Tinker’ in Ribton-Turner (1887) n.p.: They drink many a pot, they care not for the shot.
[Ire]J. O’Keeffe Farmer 46: More Burgundy! my Shot will make a vast Hole in the Money.
C. Lamb Correspondence with Coleridge 6 Aug. (1868) 116: I have the first volume, and truth to tell, six shillings is a broad shot.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 157: Shot — a public-house reckoning.
[Aus]Australian (Sydney) 22 Dec. 4/2: Mr D. proposed that they should try a friendly hit at each other, and that he who got the worst of it should pay the ‘shot’.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Jorrocks Jaunts (1874) 123: I should greatly prefer your paying your own shot.
[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 12 Feb. n.p.: Sailors have [...] been robbed of every shot.
[US]Durivage & Burnham Stray Subjects (1848) 57: ‘Thank’ee : jest the change’ added the wagoner; [...] depositing the ‘tin’ in his ‘shot-bag’.
[UK]Leics. Chron. 6 Mar. 5/2: ‘The Shot —the reckoning at a tavern’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 May 10/1: I could always depend on your shot, / And so could old hell-fire Cox, / For he used to look round for your dot / The moment he stepped on his box.
Dunde Eve. Teleg. 3 Apr. 2/5: We may talk of our money in a score of ways [...] ‘the actual,’ ‘the wherewithal,’ ‘beans,’ ‘blunt,’ [...] ‘shot,’ ‘feathers’.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘What Winifred Wanted’ The Sporting Times 29 Apr. 1/3: Her locker was filled with the right sort of shot, / There was more there than Winifred wanted.
J.R. Ackerley We Think the World of You (1971) 14: "Shall we have another drink?’ ‘It’s my turn.’ Millie always paid her shot.

2. an ejaculation; an act of sexual intercourse [shoot v. (1a)].

H. Parrot Cvres for the Itch E4: Claudius ... made drunk one night, and iumbling but with Iane, Was forst not onely to discharge the shot, But keepe the Bastard which the Gull ere got.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 6 5 July 44: One of them [...] had a Leake sprung in her poop, which came by a shot of a French man of Warre.
[UK] ‘Seamans Frolick’ Pepys Ballads (1987) IV 213: [The] Captain did a small pinnace board ... She did abide him many shot But under deck she prov’d too hot.
[UK]Holborn Drollery 59: This same Fort all Shot receives.
[UK]Whores Rhetorick 125: The Lady is on duty every day, and being sometimes forced in her single person to face whole Armies of fighting Men, and Volleys of Shot.
[UK] ‘They’re All Shooting’ Cuckold’s Nest 37: So I’m obliged to keep the shot, while the tailor he’s to shoot.
[UK] ‘Toasts & Sentiments’ Rambler’s Flash Songster 48: Board and lodging to those who have shots in the bag.
[US]‘Bob Sterling’ Town-Bull 124: The first shots were fired and the number two’s were stiffly in the slits and stroking hard.
[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 69: I fired off a broadside until my shot was spent, / Then rammed that fire ship’s waterline until my ram was bent.
[US]D. St John Memoirs of Madge Buford 55: ‘I feel the sperm drops burn me as they hit my belly! I’m riddled with hot shots! Give me every charge in your gun!’.
[US]‘J.M. Hall’ Anecdota Americana II 113: Q stands for Quickee, / A rapid-fire shot.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 162: There once was a baker of Nottingham / Who in making éclairs would put snot in ’em. / When he ran out of snot, / He would, like as not, / Take his pecker and jack off a shot in ’em.
[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 179: shot [...] single orgasm.
[US]‘Bill E. Goodhead’ Nubile Treat 🌐 You men can manage a second shot right away, I’m sure of that, but in a lifetime of fucking I’ve found that a few extra minutes can make all the difference between a so-so fuck and a really good one.

3. in senses of (negative) speech.

(a) (US, also shoot) a sneering remark, aimed at another person with the express purpose of wounding them.

implied in have a shot at
[UK]T. Hook Gilbert Gurney 219: She saw her shot had told.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 359: Them low shoots is too fur below me fur me to reply. But I can lick you in a punch.
[UK]Sporting Times 3 June 1/4: Cabby’s final shot as the conductor goes towards Fleet Street [...]. ‘Well, thank the Lord, I don’t have to go through life tail foremost.’ Only he did not say tail.
[US]‘Digit’ Confessions of a Twentieth Century Hobo 64: [He] left with a parting shot.
[US]J. Weidman I Can Get It For You Wholesale 165: After a week-end with dim-wits, it was a pleasure to talk for a few minutes with someone who gave you a chance to sharpen up your shots.
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 185: I gave her the last shot right in the teeth and it sounded pretty nasty. ‘You don’t really want to save him, do you? You just want to look as if you are trying to save him.’.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]M. Baker Nam (1982) x i: I’m going to say he had cold beans and motherfuckers for breakfast, took some shots from the others guys for being a cherry and then went out and got blown into fifty million pieces.

(b) (US) any form of remark.

[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker I 166: That shot was a settler, it struck poor Sall right atwixt wind and water.
[US]E. Freeman ‘The Whirling Hub’ in Afro-American (Baltimore, MD) 23 Mar. 15/1: [of gossip] Those hot shots struck the old rold roll top desk [...] when this pillar was closing out.

(c) (US prison) a disciplinary report.

[US]G. Liddy Will (con. 1974) 339: He [...] offered me the choice of ‘extra duty’ with a mop or a ‘shot’—slang for a disciplinary report.
[US]Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, IL) 7 Apr. 4/1: Prison Slang [...] Shot: An incident report written up after an infraction by an inmate.
[US]P. Earley Hot House 311: [H]e had managed to irritate some guards by rejecting their incident reports, commonly called ‘shots,’ which outlined the charges against the inmate.
[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July 🌐 Give A Shot: A disciplinary report or write-up.

4. a corpse that has been disinterred by body-snatchers for the purpose of selling it to a medical school [spec. ety. unknown].

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

5. in senses of a chance, attempt, a number [SE shoot (at a target)].

(a) an opportunity, a chance, an attempt, a guess.

[UK]A.W. Kinglake Eothen 137: I secretly smiled at this last prophecy as a bad shot.
[UK]G.J. Whyte-Melville General Bounce (1891) 191: But here we are at Tattersall’s [...] so now for ‘good information, long odds, a safe man, and a shot at the favourite.’ [...] 326: We cannot help judging of our temporary companions [...] and making probably no worse shots than we all do in these fancy biographies à la minute.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Tales of College Life 77: I must ‘cram’ at the last, I said, and make a shot for my degree.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 213: shot from the modern sense of the word to shoot, ? a guess, a random conjecture; ‘to make a bad shot,’ to expose one’s ignorance by making a wrong guess, or random answer, without knowing whether it is right or wrong.
[UK]J. Greenwood Seven Curses of London 417: Now you may bag a hundred pounds at a shot.
L.B. Milford Cousins i n.p.: It turned out to be a bad shot [F&H].
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 49: At that time they could only take one picture at a shot.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Ah Dam’ in Roderick (1972) 797: The carts and vans were [...] brought aboard again for another shot at it.
[UK]A. Brazil Luckiest Girl in School 19: ‘I’ll make as good a shot as I can at things, and if I fail — well, I shall have plenty of companions in misfortune’.
[US]E. Pound letter 5 Apr. in Paige (1971) 176: Joyce worked for years as a language teacher, and I have done all sorts of jobs at £1/1 a shot.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 43: I persuaded Brother Lyte that we ought to give you a shot at the property first.
[US](con. 1917) J. Stevens Mattock 194: He’s in Jake with Major Kessler, but he don’t get a shot at the front.
[US](con. 1910s) J.T. Farrell Young Lonigan in Studs Lonigan (1936) 30: TB gets it in the neck every shot.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 573: Any time you want any laundry done, well, give us a shot at it.
[US]T. Thursday ‘Twin Lose or Draw’ in Popular Sports Spring 🌐 Then we got a shot at Roscoe Druke.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 16: He [...] was coming to New York for a shot at the big time.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 265: He gets the title shot, outdoors in the ball park.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 137: Ain’t nothin’ on Howard Street can touch Sue. That’s the babe I’d like to git a shot at.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 21: I’m not promising you guys anything, but if I get a shot then I’m dealing you in.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 105: I was offered a shot at him so I took it.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 100: Working Ad Vice hurt – the job was a snore, he hot-dogged on dope every time he got a shot.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 370: I wanna give this armadillo business a shot.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 37: He’d still swap him for someone else if the mood took him, or if he thought it’d give him a better shot at the stars.
[US] in W. Shaw Westsiders 110: It’s going down like this, / one shot, so I can’t miss.
[US]T. Udo Vatican Bloodbath 25: It’s yer mammy, Billy, she’s giein line ups for aw’ the Bhoys at ten pee a shot.
[US]D. Winslow Winter of Frankie Machine (2007) 62: Momo was giviing him his shot, letting him break in.
[US]C. Hiaasen Nature Girl 235: You want to stay and give it a shot – I don’t mind.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 82: Give him a shot [...] You can always throw him back.
[US]D. Winslow Border [ebook] She had her shot; if she blew it, that’s on her.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 48: That’s two shots to blunt car noise/wave crash/ bum-feed contingencies.

(b) anything that has a reasonable chance of success; usu. preceded by a qualifying figure indicating the odds against, e.g. ten to one shot.

[US]H. Blossom Checkers 12: I could n’t figure on getting nosed out by a hundred to one shot.
[US]W.J. Kountz Billy Baxter’s Letters 16: It hit me I was richer than Jay Gould ever was; I had the Rothschilds backed clear off the board; and I made William H. Vanderbilt look like a hundred-to-one shot.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ John Henry 89: I consider myself about an 8 to 5 shot.
[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 109: The bringing off of a fifty-to-none shot demands some sort of headache in the morning.
[US]K. McGaffey Sorrows of a Show Girl Ch. xix: Here I go and plant my fifty on the dog you handed me at 6 to 5, and the 10 to 1 shot I was going to play wins!
[US]Denton (MD) Journal 6 Jan. 1/7: See here, pard [...] I’m no shot at business.
[US]W.R. Burnett Iron Man 14: Listen mid [...] you ain’t even a ten to one shot.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 231: I am in no position to cavil at even a 100 to 1 shot.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 56: Jimmy Brockett has picked up a few good sorts on his own in his short life, but this wasn’t the place for it. A hotel or a train or a café was the shot.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 14 Nov. Proud Highway (1997) 650: I’m preparing a 1200-word ‘column’ shot for you.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 216: Once we get off the flat, it’s a clean shot down to the island.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 25 Feb. 12: We’ll probably screw it up but we’ll give it a shot.
[US]T. Swerdlow Straight Dope [ebook] [S]he pouted so good I agreed to give it a shot.

(c) (Aus./US) one’s preference, style or choice.

[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ They’re a Weird Mob (1958) 39: The shot’s just keep pluggin’ along. No sense in bustin’ yerself.
[US]H.E. Roberts Third Ear n.p.: my shot n. my choice; something I like very much.
[UK] (con. 1994) M. Amis Experience 332: You mean lunch is your shot.

(d) (US campus) attendance at a party, movie, sporting match etc.

[US]Current Sl. II:1.

6. in senses of measure, amount.

(a) a measure of liquor; usu. with the drink specified, e.g. a shot of rum.

[US]R. Lardner ‘Champion’ in Coll. Short Stories 1941 112: Midge [...] aroused the napping bartender by slapping a silver dollar on the festive board. ‘Gimme a shot.’.
[US]J. Lait ‘Canada Kid’ Beef, Iron and Wine 1917 158: I’m dying for a shot o’ booze—dyin’.
[UK]P. Marks Plastic Age 172: I’m with you. A shot of gin might jazz me up a little.
[US]S. Lewis Arrowsmith 74: Oh! Have ’nother shot!
[US]D. Parker ‘Big Blonde’ in Penguin Dorothy Parker (1982) 195: ‘Like a drink before you go?’ she asked. ‘Cockeyed again for a change, aren’t you?’ he said. ‘That’s nice. Sure, get a couple of shots, will you?’.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Dream Street Rose’ Runyon on Broadway (1954) 48: If she has a few shots of grog in her [...] she can fight like the dickens.
[US](con. 1917–19) Dos Passos Nineteen Nineteen in USA (1966) 476: The barkeep poured him out a shot of rye.
[US]N. Algren ‘So Help Me’ (from Story mag.; in Texas Stories 1995 17: He gave me a shot but didn’t offer the kid none.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan , 1936 582: This sergeant-at-arms must have had a few shots too many.
[US]N. Algren Never Come Morning (1988) 20: ‘Have a shot?’ He came up with an unlabeled bottle and they passed it around.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 52: He never wheeled more than two shots out of a customer.
[US]M. Rubin ‘Gold Ring’ in Margulies Back Alley Jungle (1963) 98: We were drinking cokes with shots in them.
[US]Kerouac On The Road (1972) 28: You can have a couple of shots.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 69: She filled a glass with gin and sat next to Vinnie (should I offer him a shot too?). [Ibid.] 212: Mike took a couple of quick shots, chasing it with the remainder of the beer.
[US]E. Tidyman Shaft 121: He got the bottle of Canadian Club and poured out the shots.
[US]C. Loken Come Monday Morning 33: Gimme a drink – shot’n a beer.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Ed Leary’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 124: He told me to go ahead and order a shot of whiskey.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 284: He found a juke joint, ordered a line of shots.
[US]P. Cornwell Cause of Death (1997) 217: Downing shots of Jack Black.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 370: Everyone was drinking and scooping out vodka jello-shots.
[UK]Observer Escape 9 Jan. 3: He offered us a shot from the cooler.
[US]Simon & Burns ‘Hard Cases’ Wire ser. 2 ep. 4 [TV script] A shot and a beer, darling.
Greenville News (SC) 4 Feb. 1/3: ‘I you can take a shot on the batlefield, you ought to be able to take a shot in the bar’.
[US]T. Pluck Boy from County Hell 140: They shot their shots.

(b) (drugs) an injection, or dose, of a narcotic drug.

[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 271: I – I’m a dyin’ for a shot!
[US]S.F. Call 7 May 3/6: The pipe no longer satisfies him. He takes his first ‘shot’ from a hypodermic syringe .
[UK]T. Burke Limehouse Nights 123: ‘Gimme a shot o’ dope,’ slobbered the old man. ‘Gimme a jolt, Chinky.’.
[US]Journal Amer. Instit. of Criminal Law and Criminology VIII Jan. 749–56: Men not cured of their addiction would use the drug and induce younger prisoners to be ‘sports and take a shot’.
[US]F. Williams Hop-Heads 18: She plunged the needle into the white flesh of the girl and slowly pressed the ‘shot’ home.
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 22 June 12/3: Gradually she accustomed herself to three ‘shots’ or ‘jolts’ [of morphine] daily.
[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 135: They took their shot as coolly as if they had been in their room or under a sidewalk.
[US]R. Chandler ‘Blackmailers Don’t Shoot’ in Red Wind 1946 96: A shot of M.
[US]‘Goat’ Laven Rough Stuff 39: Quite a few of the old timers and present day boxers, when they are a bit off form, will fall for a shot of coke.
[UK]J. Campbell Babe is Wise 94: He had submitted his arm to the ‘shot’ and waited till it had begun to take effect.
[US]R. Chandler Little Sister 90: I’ll give you a shot when we leave.
[US]J. Thompson Alcoholics (1993) 53: You got a shot in the tail yesterday [...] from the nurse.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 158: Pop, Bang, Shot, Fix . . . Injection of junk.
[US]Kerouac On The Road (1972) 141: She took tea, goofballs, benny, liquor and even asked Old Bull for a shot of M.
[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 9: With the shot, their problems vanish, and the world they cannot handle fades to leave them in solitary bliss.
[UK]M. Novotny Kings Road 210: I’m not getting up ’til I’ve had a shot.
[UK]Observer Mag. 14 May 51: A junk emporium where £3.50 buys a shot of heroin.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 66: She cooked up a spoon and drew a shot up into the dropper.
[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 10 May 6/4: The first night I absconded I went and got a shot.
[UK]V. Headley Yardie 105: Most of all he needed a shot.
[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] Me lighter is running short on juice, but there should be enough left to cook up this shot.
[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 4: He boiled up his morning shot and dug the spike into his eye.
[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 166/2: shot n. 1 any kind of intravenous drug, e.g. heroin 2 an injection of drugs.
[US]N. Walker Cherry 4: I [...] cook the shot on the flame till the shot starts to hiss a little.
[US]D. Winslow ‘Sunset’ in Broken 196: Terry, don’t do another shot. Terry, don’t shoot smack.

(c) (drugs) the amount of a drug required to get a user intoxicated.

[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 196: Now this guy’ll take a shot for youse fur a dime a shot [...] or he’ll hit the stem.
[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 77: Tired Feelin, in a temporary effort to become oblivious to the past, is taking a shot of hop in a pill shop across the street.
[US]E.H. Lavine Third Degree (1931) 220: The keepers could sell the balance to them or to other prisoners in need of a ‘shot’.
[US]Kerouac letter 19 Oct. in Charters II (1999) 220: Mescaline is not just ‘cute’ because the very 2 hours when it really hits it’s as strong as pure big fourbutton peote shot – if not more.
[US]C. Cooper Jr Scene (1996) 39: Smack was a dollar twenty-five a thing and her shot was six, twice a day.
[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 11: The Beecham Pill had them pegged as dope fiends. [...] They were going to probably going to try and louse his kick for a shot of marijuana.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 19: Shot — an amount of cocaine; 10 shot or 20 shot.

(d) any form of injection.

[US]W.A. Livergood diary 18 Sept. 🌐 After dinner we got our examination and a shot in under the shoulder blade.
[US](con. 1910s) L. Nason A Corporal Once 292: I’ll give him a shot.
[US]L. Uris Battle Cry (1964) 58: They went to the edge of the Depot to receive booster shots.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Cop This Lot 193: He was very proud of his ‘shot record’. He had been ‘immunised’ against practically every known disease.
[US]L. Bruce How to Talk Dirty 47: Doc, I have this cold coming on — can’t you give me a shot?
[Can]J. Mandelkau Buttons 61: The shot cost me fifteen bob.
[US]J. Webb Fields of Fire (1980) 137: Took shots for two weeks to get rid of that clap.
[US](con. 1964–73) W. Terry Bloods (1985) 26: And if they [i.e. prostitutes] got disease, they’d get shots and wouldn’t be able to work until they were clear.
[UK]M. Dibdin Dying of the Light 24: He should be able to give George a shot to put him out of his misery.
[US](con. 1986) G. Pelecanos Sweet Forever 68: The fertility quacks with their shots and cycles and drugs.
[US]N. Walker Cherry 58: Then we got a hundred fucking shots. We got all our Army stuff: uniforms, boots, helmets, shit like that.

(e) a fig. injection.

[UK]N. Cohn Awopbop. (1970) 109: The only thing new about it was that it has been gingered with a big fat shot of gospel.
[US]G. Pelecanos Right As Rain 16: Like the idea of hope had given her a quick shot of youth.

Pertaining to drink

In compounds

shot-clog (n.)

a fool who is tolerated only because of their willingness to pay their share for drinks.

[UK]Jonson Every Man out of His Humour V vi: If you be out [of humour] keepe your distance, and bee not made a Shot-clog no more.
[UK]Chapman & Jonson Eastward Ho! I i: Thou common shot-clog, gull of all companies!
[UK]Jonson Staple of News IV i: He is some primate metropolitan rascal, Our shot-clog makes so much of him.
shot-house (n.)

(US) an illegal drinking establishment where drink is sold in nips or small (orig. half-pint) measures.

[US](con. 1890s) C.W. Willemse Behind The Green Lights 21: A few doors away on the Bowery was the ‘Monkey House,’ a ‘five-cent shot house,’ – a resort where whisky cost only five cents a glass.
Dly Press (Newport News, VA) 19 Mar. 10/4: He said police will raid a minimum of two ‘shot houses’ per week.
Dly Press (Newport News, VA) 21 Nov. B4/1: Despite the risk of police raids, people go to shot houses for cheap drinks.
Montgomery Advertiser 9AL) 24 Dec. 11/2: Shot houses, where single shots of alcohol are sold illegally for between $1 and $2.
[US]B. Bilger Noodling for Flatheads (2001) 100: There have always been two sorts of moonshine: the decent stuff, which is kept at home and sold to neighbors, and ‘nigger likker,’ [...] shipped to anonymous shot houses [...] in the big city.
[US]N. McCall Them (2008) 36: For years, the Purple Palace had been a half-respectable shot house.
[US]S.A. Crosby Blacktop Wasteland 252: Back in the day, a place like this might be called a shot house. Nowadays, shoot-up house was a more apt description.

In phrases

pay one’s shot (v.) (also pay the shot)

1. to pay one’s share.

[UK]H. Chettle Kind-Harts Dreame F3: Now a Jugling tricke to pay the shot.
R. Middleton Epigrams 15: Tunacus bad a feast, but stole away, / And left his bidden guests the shot to pay.
[UK]Rowlands ‘Two Cony-Catchers Gull the Third’ Knave of Hearts 72: These two shifters thus devise a plot, To make their fellow drunkard pay the shot.
[UK]Long Meg of Westminster 6: If any stale Cutter comes in and thinks to pay the shot with swearing, hey! gogs! wounds!
[UK] ‘The Jovial Pedlar’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I 97: When he came to pay the shot his heart grew very cold.
[UK]R. Herrick ‘Upon Huncks’ Hesperides I 241: Huncks ha’s no money [...] About him, when the Taverns shot’s to pay.
[UK]J. Ray Proverbs (2nd edn) 90: Coblers law, he that takes money must pay the shot.
[UK] ‘Poor Tom the Taylor’ in Ebsworth Roxburghe Ballads (1891) VII:2 473: She left him all the shot to pay, like a cunning sharper.
[UK]D’Urfey Collin’s Walk canto 3 90: Major nobly paid the Shot, And return’d thanks with parting Pot.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: To Pay one’s Shot, to pay one’s Club or Proportion.
[UK]T. Lucas Lives of the Gamesters (1930) 192: He would make shift to screw a ring or two off her finger, with which he would pay both the shot and his common-she.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy V 24: Time after Time to pay their Shot, / My Guineas I would lug out.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: To pay one’s shot; to pay one’s share of a reckoning.
[UK]John Freeth ‘A Strolling Ballad Singer’s Ramble to London’ Political Songster 6: We left the Tar to pay the shot, / Then budg’d away to Fenny.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Nov. III 107/2: Let him stay / He’ll not refuse his shot to pay.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]M. Scott Tom Cringle’s Log (1862) 37: I have wherewithal in my locker to pay my shot.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker II 9: I [...] paid my shot into the plate, whenever if was handed round.
[UK]Exeter Flying Post 8 Jan. 4/1: Ben paid his shot.
[US]W.K. Northall Life and Recollections of Yankee Hill 26: Captain Gay was tried, found guilty, and condemned to be shot, or, rather, to pay the shot for the amount of oysters, champagne, and other fixings.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 213: shot from the once English, but now provincial word, to shoot, to subscribe, contribute in fair proportion; [...] ‘to pay one’s shot,’ i.e., share of the reckoning, &c.
[UK]J. Greenwood Dick Temple I 67: Give it a name, my Britons, and I’ll pay the shot.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Mar. 22/2: In the past, if at stray times we’ve licked ’em, / The beak made the fine pretty hot, / And we felt less like victor than victim / When the time came for paying the ‘shot.’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Apr. 14/3: Mitchell put in more good work, and it looked as if all was up, but Scholes managed to keep agoing, commencing to pay back some of the hot shot.
[UK]E.W. Hornung Black Mask (1992) 155: Only remember, Bunny, it’s my turn next to pay the shot.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 15 May 2nd sect. 12/8: For when this fighting world has got / Me fairly on the hip, / I order in a pipe and pot, / All piping hot, and pay the shot.
[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe on the Job 253: Who asks for cheap fun? [...] I paid the shot, didn’t I?

2. see also sl. phrs. above.

Pertaining to drugs

In compounds

ten-shot (n.)

(UK black/drugs) a £10 bag of marijuana.

Section Boyz ‘Trapping Ain’t Dead’ 🎵 I don’t ever leave out for a 10 shot.

In phrases

pin shot (n.)

an injection of a narcotic using a rudimentary ‘syringe’ made of a pin or needle and an eye-dropper.

[UK]E. Murphy Black Candle 241: Instead of a syringe, the ‘prodder or ‘rat’ sometimes uses a safety-pin [...] and an eye-dropper to insert the solution. These ‘pin shots’ are frequently resorted to by the drug slaves of the poorer classes.
[UK]F. Tuohy Inside Dope 84: Many of the poorer cases will just slit the vein open with a safety pin and absorb the drug from an eye-dropper (the ‘pin-shot’).
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Lannoy & Masterson ‘Teen-age Hophead Jargon’ AS XXVII:1 28: PIN-SHOT, n. Injection through skin by using safety pin for perforation then placing the drug with an eye dropper.
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore.
point shot (n.)

(US drugs) an injection using a makeshift ‘needle’ made of a pin and a medicine dropper.

[US]D. Maurer ‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in Lang. Und. (1981) 107/2: POINT-SHOT. 1. A type of injection taken when a hypodermic needle has been broken and cannot be replaced. The point of the needle is inserted into the vein or under the skin and the glass shank of a medicine-dropper slipped down over it so that the solution can pass into the blood when the bulb is pressed. 2. An injection taken with a substitute for the hollow needle.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore.
shot in the arm (n.)

1. a narcotics injection.

[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 417: Shot in the arm. A hyperdermic injection of dope.
[US]D. Maurer ‘Junker Lingo’ in AS VIII:2 27: The injection of dope is referred to as a bang in the arm or a shot in the arm.
[US](con. 1920s) Dos Passos Big Money in USA (1966) 166: Shot in the arm – The injection of a narcotic.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 27 Apr. [synd. col.] He never knows when the yen for a ‘pill’ will grip him – and when it does – he merely puts the narcotic into the spoon – lights a match under it until it melts – sticks a needle into it for filling and then gives himself a shot in the arm.
[US]Berrey & Van den Bark Amer. Thes. Sl.
[US](con. 1920s) ‘Harry Grey’ Hoods (1953) 289: He’s hitting the needle agin [...] he takes a shot in the arm.
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 314: shot in the arm. An injection of a drug into the bloodstream.
[US]‘Lou Rand’ Gay Detective (2003) 77: He wants to try everything from sarsaparilla to a shot in the arm.
[US]Altman & Ziporyn Born to Raise Hell in Lingeman (1969) n.p.: We had some drinks, then we went off some place and had a fix – a shot in the arm. I don’t know what it was exactly, but it wasn’t heroin.
[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 72: Shoot To inject drugs intravenously. (Archaic: shot in the arm).

2. see also SE phrs. below.

skin shot (n.) (also skin)

(drugs) an injection of a narcotic that is made into the skin, rather than a specific vein; thus skin-shooter n., one who injects.

[US]D. Maurer ‘Argot of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 1 in AS XI:2 126/1: skin shot. An injection of narcotics beneath the skin.[...] Addicts agree that this type of shot produces a milder but more lasting effect than the vein shot, q.v. Skin shots are as a rule preferred by beginners.
[US]B. Dai Opium Addiction in Chicago 172: The ‘pipe fiend’ or the opium smoker generally looks down upon the ‘skin shooter’.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]W. Burroughs Naked Lunch (1968) 87: An Osmosis Recharge, which corresponds to a skin shot, but that is admitting defeat.
[US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972) 170: skin [...] Intramuscular injection.
[US]Maurer & Vogel Narcotics and Narcotic Addiction in Maurer Lang. Und. (1981) 425/1: I don’t think a main liner has the aches and pains kicking a habit that a skin shooter does.

Pertaining to sexual intercourse

In compounds

shot-locker (n.) [into which goes or from where comes a shot] (US)

the penis.

[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 70: Beware of lofty fire ships, they’ll be the ruin of you. / They’ll empty out your shot locker and pick your pocket too.

In phrases

bust a shot (v.)

usu. of a man, to reach orgasm.

[US] in W. Shaw Westsiders 97: Jump on top of my dick and work them hips until I bust a shot.
double-shot (n.)

two ejaculations of semen during a single bout of intercourse.

[US]R. Klein Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].
[US]unicorn ‘The Farm Hand 2’ on Nifty Erotic Stories Archive 🌐 A flood of hot, white, boyjuice shot out of the end of his cock for the first and definitely most unforgettable time. He pumped and pumped and all three of his cumglands gave a double shot to his perpetually remembered delight.
give someone a shot (v.) (also pay someone the shot)

of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

[UK] ‘The Jovial Companions’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I 87: He laid her on her Back, and paid her the shot, / Without ever a stiver of Mony.
[UK] ‘The Jovial Companions’ in Ebsworth Bagford Ballads (1878) I 52: He laid her on her Back, and paid her the shot.
[UK] ‘Jenny Crack’ Pepys Ballads (1987) III 177: No sooner within the gates had I got, But I thought it convenient to give her a shot, And she from a morter-piece that she had, Let fly a Granado.
[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.
pay the shot (v.)

1. to have sexual intercourse.

[UK]Industrious Smith broadside ballad in C. Hindley Roxburghe Ballads (1874) 99: Old debts must be paid, O why should they not, the fellow went home to pay the old shot.

2. see also SE phrs. below.

shot between wind and water (n.) (also shot ’twixt wind and water) [naut. jargon betwixt wind and water, that part of a ship’s side that is sometimes above water and sometimes submerged, in which part a shot is particularly dangerous]

an act of sexual intercourse, from the perspective of the man.

[Ire]Head Eng. Rogue I 363: Her frequent trading, and those many shots she had received between wind and water in the service, had so altered her countenance, and disproportioned her body, that I knew not whether this Frigat was English or Flemish built.
[UK]Congreve Love for Love III i: And then he let fly at her, / A shot ’twixt wind and water, That won this fair maid’s heart.
[UK]N. Ward ‘The Surgeon’ Wooden World 45: His Captain, being disabled by some unlucky shot ’twixt wind and water, repairs to him for a Refitment.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy III 221: And then he let fly at her, / A Shot ’twixt Wind and Water, / Which won this fair Maids Heart.
[UK]‘Capt. Samuel Cock’ Voyage to Lethe 29: We let fly, and luckily happened to give her a Shot between Wind and Water.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
shot on the swings (n.) [ety. unknown; ? the movements of the two bodies]

(Scot.) sexual intercourse.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 1061/2: since late 1940s.

Other senses

In phrases

cheap shot (n.)

see separate entries.

get a shot of leg (v.) [SE leg]

(US black) to have sexual intercourse.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 151: Expressions for intercourse – [...] to get a shot of leg, to cut a side (of beef).
have a shot at (v.)

1. (Aus.) to make a sneering remark in someone’s direction, to try to provoke.

[Ire]‘A Real Paddy’ Real Life in Ireland 232: Lady Demiquaver, though on the best possible terms with Lady Howe, could not refrain from having a shot at her on this occasion.
[UK]Punch 17 Jan. 45/2: If it’s in the dead season – or there’s nothing particular going on – have a shot at the Press.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Cop This Lot 23: Reckon ’e was ’avin’ a shot at us, Nino?
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 29: Have a shot at: To attempt to take the piss out of someone else verbally as in, ‘The bastard had a shot at me but I told him where he could get off.’.

2. (also have a shot) to make an attempt, to have a try.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Apr. 22/4: This case shows how necessary it is for a man in dealing with a widow to put down his foot firmly somewhere. As we premised, he need not try it on the question of marrying her. His determination goes for nothing there. But we think he ought to have a shot at her arithmetical side.
[UK]Sporting Times 22 Mar. 1/2: I’ll just have one more shot.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 24 Aug. 750: They might let the chaps have a shot at cooking it themselves.
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith in the City (1993) 16: He seemed awfully keen on my finding something to do [...] I said I’d have a shot.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘I’ll Bide’ in Roderick (1972) 823: I made up my mind to have a shot at that gate [...] ’n’ see if there was anything cronk about the place.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 590: Have a shot at it now, he ventured to say of the coffee after being stirred.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Bob the Baker and British Breeding’ in Roderick (1972) 922: I fancied the skipper [...] looked as if he’d like to have a shot at it too.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 174: He had been trying to cross one leg over the other and failing and having another shot and failing again.
[Aus]K. Tennant Foveaux 32: There was nothing Fred Doust would not ‘have a shot at’.
[UK]Rover 18 Feb. 6: I’ll have a shot at rescuing Hopalong.
[UK]N. Marsh Final Curtain (1958) 234: There, you’ll notice, are the marks round the lid where he had a shot at opening it.
[UK]K. Amis letter 8 Sept. in Leader (2000) 291: I see what you mean about this, though it would be awfully difficult to do. I could have a shot at it, anyway.
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 197: Only thing worrying him is being such a chump as to’ve had a shot at something with people who’re not top-notch crooks.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 19: I have occasionally borrowed his copy with a view to having a shot at the crossword puzzle.
[US](con. 1950s) D. Goines Whoreson 29: I just about had a shot at it.
[Aus]G. Disher Paydirt [ebook] Having a shot at the Belcowie payroll now would be risky but he thought he could make it a calculated risk.

In exclamations

that’s the shot!

(Aus.) a general excl. of agreement or approval.

[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 183: Pigs to that! [...] A jack-up, that’s the shot.
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 30: Ready to go, eh? That’s the shot.
[Aus]S. Gore Holy Smoke 14: Faith, mate. That’s the shot. I’m drumming yer!
[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 231: That’s the shot [...] Stick around and guard the place. If that’s all right.
[Aus]C. Bowles G’DAY 89: SHANE. On the othe~ and, e is a mate a yaws. AARON. That’s the shot.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

shot-caller (n.) [see call the shots under call v.]

a person who has authority or takes the lead in saying what should happen.

Portsmouth Herald () 13 Sept. 4/4: My female counsel is a pretty good shot-caller on these things [i.e. opposing claims in court].
[US]letter in Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS) 8 Aug. 4/7: Adlai [Stevenson] is known for not being much of a shot-caller.
[US]‘Hy Lit’ Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 35: shot caller – To make a prediction which later becomes a reality.
[US]L. Bing Do or Die (1992) 222: It’s the shotcallers who gettin’ rich. The politicians.
[US]E. Little Another Day in Paradise 45: Sydney loves being the shot caller, so I go along.
[US]G. Sikes 8 Ball Chicks (1998) 22: Shogun, cursed with an unpredictable temper that ignited at unsettling speed, soon rose to the rank of shot caller.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 385: [He] wanted to be a ‘shot caller’ in the prison firmament and had gathered a clique of about a dozen.
[US]Source Aug. 147: Snoop may call the shots in the studio. But Tray Deee is the shot caller on the street.
[US]J. Stahl Pain Killers 25: He got stuck in a cell with a shot-caller for the ALS.
[US]D. Winslow Border [ebook] [O]one of the AB shot callers gave him a respectful nod.
[US]D. Winslow ‘Sunset’ in Broken 194: ‘He knocked up a shot-caller’s niece, and they’re looking to punish him’.

see separate entries.

shot pocket (n.)

(US Und.) a special pocket adapted for secreting items that have been shoplifted.

[US](con. 1950s) D. Goines Whoreson 122: [I]t was a coat with shot pockets sewed onto the inside lining.
shot-rodder (n.)

(US black) one who is emotionally unstable [play on hot-rodder n.].

[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 49: He kept thinking of the wild ride and called himself a god-damned yo-yo, a squirrel, a nut, a shot-rodder.

In phrases

by a long shot (also by a long jump)

(orig. US) by a good distance, by a considerable amount; usu. as a negative, e.g. too fast by a long shot or not by a long shot, in no way at all, by an extremely unlikely chance.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, OH) 14 Apr. 1/2: Patty Bean was not the first that I run against by a long shot.
[US]W. Oliver Eight Months in Illinois 66: I know the way how to kill ague better than many a doctor by a long shot.
[US]H.B. Stowe Uncle Tom’s Cabin 58: But it an’t all I want, by a long jump.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 18 Oct. 1/5: [G]oing up close to the grenadier, he asked if he would sell him a potato. ‘Not by a long shot,’ answered the grenadier; ‘I haven’t enough for myself.’.
[US]E. Eggleston Hoosier School-Master (1892) 157: You gin up Hanner kase you thought she belonged to me. That’s more’n I’d a done by a long shot.
[UK]W. Pett Ridge Minor Dialogues 63: I’m too fly for that by a long, long shot.
[US]D.G. Phillips Susan Lenox II 166: It ain’t the best butter—not by a long shot.
[US]A. Berkman Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (1926) 198: ‘But you spent most of your life in prison.’ ‘Not by a long shot.’.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 435: No, you aren’t, not by a long shot if I know it.
[US]E. Dahlberg Bottom Dogs 197: It wouldn’t have broke him by a long shot.
[US](con. 1900s) C.W. Willemse Behind The Green Lights 80: They weren’t all bums and down-and-outers by a long shot.
[US](con. 1920s) Dos Passos Big Money in USA (1966) 791: You wouldn’t want to marry me the way I am now anyway . . . not by a long shot.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 157: Guys with lots of talent, maybe, but not by a long shot a well-established [...] group.
[Aus]Cusack & James Come in Spinner (1960) 45: I’d ’ave you know my time ain’t over neither, not by a long shot.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 53: He wasn’t an alcoholic then – not by a long shot.
[UK]P. Bailey An Eng. Madam 56: Ours wasn’t a flaming bloody passion by a long shot.
[Ire]P. McCabe Breakfast on Pluto 50: Not to me, by a long shot — no! Old Puss a favour just does not forget.
call the shots (v.)

see under call v.

do a shot on (v.) [? link to have a shot at ]

(S.Afr.) to cheat, to swindle.

A. Martin Home Life on an Ostrich Farm 268: It is considered rather clever and smart to do a shot on the guileless and unsuspecting new chum.
have a shot at the porcelain (v.)

(Aus.) to urinate.

[Aus]N. Cummins Adventures of the Honey Badger [ebook] VITAL AUSSIE VERNACULAR Urinating: 1. To syphon the python 2. Having a snake’s hiss 3. A shot at the porcelain 4. Talking to a man about a horse.
like a shot off a shovel (adv.) [SE shot, in sense of movement of a shovelful of earth, coal, etc.; ? modern use underlined as euph. for like shit off a shovel under shit n. ]

(Irish) promptly, immediately, fast.

[US]Wyoming Herald (Wilkes-Barre, PA) 17 Nov. 4/3: Should she ever speak of me in terms of disrespect [...] would be off like a shot off a shovel.
Cardiff & Merthyr Guardian 23 Aug. 4/1: She cut her country like a hailstone [...] Reformers would say ‘like a shot off a shovel’.
[US]Indiana Progress (PA) 19 Oct. 3/6: ‘I shall tumble you out into that snow-drift’ [...] And out i went, like a shot off a shovel.
[UK]Hants. Teleg. 16 Feb. 6/6: He would go out like a shot off a shovel.
[US]Baltimore Sun (MD) 6 Oct. 1/3: ‘See her go past her like a shot off a shovel. Wow!’.
Brooklyn Dly Eagle 25 Jan. 56/1: It was also liable [...] to dive like ‘a shot off a shovel’ to the bottom of a deep well.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 330: And they beheld Him even Him, ben Bloom Elijah, amid clouds of angels ascend to the glory of the brightness at an angle of fortyfive degrees over Donohoe’s in Little Green Street like a shot off a shovel.
[UK]Sheffield Dly Teleg. 12 May 12/4: A machine which leapt from the starting gate like a shot off a shovel.
Mercury (Pottstown, PA) 11 Mar. 10/3: [cartoon caption] ‘I’m off like a shot on a shovel’.
[UK]G.W. Target Teachers (1962) 281: ‘Wonder where Mr Miller got to?’ ‘Down the side stairs like a shot off a shovel,’ said Steve.
Sun. News & Trib. (Jefferson City, MO) 10 Nov. 58/1: [cartoon caption] ’An’ when th’ roof caved in, our ol’ mule took off like a shot on a shovel’.
[US]L.A. Times 29 Sept. 85/1: I bolted from the chair and left the room like a shot off a shovel.
[Ire]B. Leyden Departures 10: And the race is on. The shopkeeper’s assistant is out the door like a shot off a shovel .
[Can]Nanaimo Dly News (British Columbia) 21 Aug. 4/5: A full three weeks before the vote [...] the Tories took off like a shot off a shovel.
one’s best shot (n.)

one’s best effort or attempt.

[US]Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) 1 July 46/1: Connie Mack [...] knows he will have to give Boston his best shots to win the series.
[US]S.F. News 29 Aug. in Safire What’s the Good Word? (1982) 24: Smith’s blows, though they were his very best shots, didn’t feaze Hanna.
[US]Tampa Bay Times (St Petersburg, FL) 24 May 4C/8: I [...] broke my hand [...] I didn’t give it my best shot.
[US]M. Petit Peacekeepers 62: I’ll give it my best shot.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 263: Even getting back into London took my very best shot.
[US]C. Hiaasen Stormy Weather 83: Edie Marsh gave it her best shot.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Travel 27 June 4: I gave not-drowning my best shot.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 23 Feb. 11: I know it’s going to get it’s best shot with that cast.
[UK]Stage (London) 9 Aug. 51/3: My approacxh was just to take deep breaths and give it my best shot.
[US]Arizona Dly Star (Tucson, AZ) 22 June B008/4: ‘I’ve really struggled [...] But I’ll give it my best shot’.
shot in the arm (n.) [lit. an injection]

1. (orig. US) anything (verbal, physical, stimulant) that cheers one up, energizes one etc.

[US]R. Bolwell ‘College Sl. Words And Phrases’ in DN IV:iii 235: shot-in-the-arm, n. A drink of spirits: probably from use of injected stimulants.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 90: All afternoon he snorted and chuckled and gurgled over his ability to ‘give the Boys a real shot in the arm to-night’.
[US]L. Axley ‘“Drunk” Again’ in AS IV:6 441: Some methods of drinking, expressed in slang, are: ‘take a shot,’ or ‘take a shot in the arm’.
[US]A. Hardin ‘Volstead English’ in AS VII:2 87: Terms used for intoxicating liquor: Shot in the arm.
[US]Post-Register (Idaho Falls, ID) 6 Jan. 4/1: A ‘shot in the arm’ is a temporary uplift.
[US]C.R. Bond 4 Mar. in A Flying Tiger’s Diary (1984) 123: I was handed a cablegram from Doris. What a shot in the arm. How wonderful!
[UK]J. Cary Horse’s Mouth (1948) 319: Sara was a shot in the arm; she brought you alive one way or another.
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 189: He had hoped that the pull-together spirit had given it a shot in the arm.
[US]J. Weidman Price Is Right 139: It takes more than that dash of gumption [...] that shot in the arm you’ve been telling me about.
[UK]Wodehouse Much Obliged, Jeeves 71: They were going, he said [...] to give the pound the shot in the arm.
[US]D. Pendleton Boston Blitz (1974) 81: He got his first big shot in the arm [...] when he negotiated a ‘disposal contract’ with the Mafia bosses.
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Black Gangster (1991) 203: You being released will give some of the boys a shot in the arm.
[US] in S. Terkel Amer. Dreams (1982) 200: I was given a shot in the arm by Cesar Chavez.
[UK] (con. 1960s) D. Farson Never a Normal Man 235: This is just the shot in the arm we’ve been needing.

2. see also sl. phrs. above.

shot in the dark (n.)

a wild guess, a random try; thus shoot in the dark v. to make a wild guess or try.

[UK]Essex Standard 8 Nov. 2/5: Our contemporary has ventured upon a shot in the dark.
[US]C. Chesnutt ‘Mars Jeems’s Nightmare’ in Conjure Woman 97: Mars Jeems ’lowed atterwa’ds dat he wuz des shootin’ in de da’k w’en he said dat ’bout de books.
[US]W.M. Raine Bucky O’Connor (1910) 20: This was a shot in the dark, and it did not quite hit the bull’s-eye.
C. Isherwood Mr Norris Changes Trains 184: I could no longer resist trying a shot in the dark. ‘But you get paid from Paris?’ I had scored a bull.
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 815: He knew it was a wild last-gasp shot in the dark.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 4 Nov. in Proud Highway (1997) 73: It took a few shots in the dark, a few master strokes, and no little luck.
[Scot]Aberdeen Eve. Exp. 28 Aug. 15/8: A ‘shot in the dark’ wins £250.
[US]P. Hamill Deadly Piece 66: It was a shot in the dark. I had no idea what he knew.
[US]C. White Life and Times of Little Richard 53: It was just one of many shots in the dark that landed on the front desk every week from young hopefuls.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 11 Sept. 20: I don’t know if the photographs are saleable. This is a real shot in the dark.
[UK]Observer Mag. 9 Apr. 14: This must have seemed like a last chance, a shot in the dark.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 124: Is he taking a shot in the dark or does the bastard know something?
shot in the eye (n.)

a bad turn.

[UK]Pearson’s Mag. Sept. 254: He thought he saw the means of getting square with the millionaire who had done him such an unscrupulous shot in the eye [F&H].
[UK]Manchester Courier 18 Nov. 13/7: Lipinzki saw that he had ‘done him a shot in the eye,’ as the camp vernacular had it.
News-Press (Fort Mysers, FL) 18 June 34/3: He also gave Motherhood a shot in the eye.
shots fired

(US) a response to a verbal attack .

Urban Dict. 7 Sept. 🌐 Shots Fired When you blatantly diss or call out somebody you have a disagreement or problem with. stems from the term ‘Warning Shots’ .
[US]Eble UNC-CH Campus Sl. Spring 2014 13: SHOTS FIRED — acknowledgement of an insult: X: ‘Dude, you smell bad.’ Y: ‘Shots fired’.
take a shot (at) (v.)

1. (also take one’s shot) to attack, whether physically or verbally.

[US]Ade Artie (1963) 91: If I ever come up here with one o’ them funny suits on the old man might take a shot at me.
[[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Fifth Wheel’ in Strictly Business (1915) 62: I took a snap-shot at him with that little brass Flatiron Girl that stood on the sideboard].
[US]Star Trib. (Minneapolis, MN) 14 Feb. 6/4: Our old friend Frank Day has taken another shot at the publishers of this paper.
[US]W. Winchell Your Broadway & Mine 13 Nov. [synd. col.] ‘You took a shot at me, didn’t you [...] putting my picture in the paper with that Fanny Brice story’.
[UK]Star (Sheffield, UK) 26 Oct. 1/5: [deadline] Take A Shot At Hitler! [...] £100 for Hits at Hitler!
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 113: Carmichael had a shot at a Balt.
[US]W. Brown Run, Chico, Run (1959) 20: That’s why Chico wasn’t much worried about Loco taking a shot at Buck Shadu. If it had happened anywhere outside the block it would have been bad.
[UK]Birmingham Dly Post 9 Jan. 7/1: ‘If President Johnson feels about it like I think he does, he’ll probably take a shot at them’.
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 115: Gunner says, ‘What about all the dough you said he sent you?’ But only to have a shot at her.
Sthn Illinoisian (Carbondale, IL) 10 Aug. 4/5: You can understand the Washington Post wanting to take a shot at the ancient conservative.
[US]N. Stephenson Cryptonomicon 327: Most of the delegations have brought hired guns [...] One by one, these guys stand up to take their shots.
[US]Eminem ‘Marshall Mathers’ 🎵 Now everybody wanna run they mouth / and try to take shots at me.

2. to try, to make an attempt.

[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 30: That don’t mean I won’t take a shot if I get a chance.
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 197: I was taking a shot at Dallas for the middle-weight championship.
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 386: And I’m gonna take a shot at it myself.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 405: Once, he’d even taken a shot at the inner Harbor.
[US]N. Green Shooting Dr. Jack (2002) 274: I wanted to show you that I wasn’t, like, a moron [...] so I took a shot.
Arizona SDly Star (Tucson, AZ) 7 Mar. A017/1: Pima County should take a shot at making this tournament a Tucson fixture.
take one’s best shot (v.) (also shoot one’s best shot) [ult. boxing imagery]

(orig. US) to do the best one can, to try one’s hardest; to take the path most likely to succeed (see cite 1977).

[US]L.A. Times 15 Oct. part 2 11/7: But — as remarked — everyone denies everything — so take your best shot.
[US]L.A. Times 5 May Part IV 4/4: The stable rider has been released [...] to take his best shots and grab the best mount.
[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 330: ‘Get me one of them Whale bars, or if they ain’t got that, get an ice cream sandwich.’ ‘And shoot your best shot,’ Chilly added.
[US]Ben-Veniste & Frampton Stonewall 259: Faced with a potential defendant who has engaged in a variety of criminal activities, the prosecutor usually ‘takes his best shot.’ The strongest evidence we had was evidence of the cover-up; that was our best shot.
[US]N. Heard House of Slammers 161: A man’s gotta take his best shot.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 147: I’m saying take your best shot.
[US]Eminem ‘Marshall Mathers’ 🎵 And if you wanna run your mouth / then come take your best shot at me (your best shot at me).
[US]Chicago Trib. 22 Oct. 2/3: Kershaw will take his best shot. His competitive nature was on full display.