Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shoot off v.

1. to leave quickly (cf. shoot v. (2b)).

[US]J.C. Neal Pic-nic Sketches 193: ‘As I came out I hooked the pistol! ho! ho!’ ‘And shot off too, I guess, ha! ha!’.
[US]H.L. Williams Black-Eyed Beauty 46: Why the deuce don’t you make a big haul and shoot off!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Apr. 16/3: We wonder if the little princess / Rides the thing in a duel dress? / And if, when she shoots unexpectedly ‘off,’ / The larrikins ever at royalty scoff?
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) II 245: Out she came, veil down, and shot off in the direction of G**d*n Square like an arrow.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 162: He shot off. They shrugged their shoulders, and walked slowly down [Ibid.] 285: They clambered into the car and shot off.
[UK]C. Day Lewis Otterbury Incident 164: I shot off up the lane.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 162: Swiftly trouser-pocketing the bijouterie, I shot off to Aunt Dahlia’s den.
[NZ]N. Hilliard Maori Girl 182: I’ll have to shoot off.
[UK]L. Dunne Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 109: When we left the pub I wanted to shoot off.
[UK]T. Parker Frying-Pan 148: I’ll shoot off somewhere.
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 113: We’ll shoot off into the night.
[UK]Observer 18 July 25: He shot off.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 187: shoot off/through Depart hastily, often leaving behind someone in trouble [...] ANZ early C20.
[Aus]Bug (Aus.) June 🌐 I’d shoot off to the local Catholic Church with a mate of mine.
[UK]K. Richards Life 416: Mick didn’t want to tour in 1979 [...] it meant I could shoot off.

2. to talk, usu. irresponsibly or indiscriminately; most often in phrs. below.

[US]F. Harris ‘The Best Man in Garotte’ Elder Conklin & Other Stories (1895) 162: The judge came in with a smile on his round face and shot off a merry remark. But the quip didn’t take.
[UK]Mirror of Life 26 May 15/2: Hicks : ‘Your mouth reminds me of Cupid’s bow.’ Miss L. Rhodes (delig)ted): ‘"Really?’ Hicks: ‘"Yes, you're always shooting it off’.
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith Journalist (1993) 287: He’s been shooting off a lot of hot air lately about philanthropy and so on.
[US]E. Caldwell Bastard (1963) 64: Flo wasn’t one of those shotguns like Kitty or Rose what’d shoot off a lot of noise and smoke.
[UK]Peters & Sklar Stevedore I iii: If dat nigger keeps going up and down de wharf shoot off about wages and organizing all de time, I know just whar he gwine end.

3. to ejaculate [ext. of shoot v. (1a)].

[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 69: There was a young girl of Penzance / Who boarded a bus in a trance. / The passengers fucked her, / Likewise the conductor. / The driver shot off in his pants.
[US] joke cited in G. Legman Rationale of the Dirty Joke (1972) I 186: Ah, she sleeps and dreams of a piece, / Her hole is full of soap. / So I shall quickly kiss her snatch, / And shoot off in the air.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Capricorn (1964) 85: If you don’t shoot off in your pants when she starts wiggling, well then I’m a son of a bitch.
[US] ‘Wild Buckaroo’ in G. Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 107: She screamed, ‘You jack rabbit! You shot off, you’re thru; / You can go fuck yourself now you Wild Buckaroo.’.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 508: The king threw up his breakfast, / And he shot off on the floor.
[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.
[US] in P.R. Runkel Law Unto Themselves 262: Well, don’ some of ’em [...] shoot off in ’er mouth without ever puttin’ it in her hole?
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 61: The messy way many of my punters shot off like two-bob rockets.
[US](con. 1910s) F.M. Davis Livin’ the Blues 41: You mean you screwed this jane for ’bout an hour before you shot off?
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 119: An article [...] likened the feeling of shooting a gun to ejaculation. That was what it was like for me. Shooting off.
[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 125: Dewey Schmidt shot off on the magazine photograph of a girl named Tracey.
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 99: As she screamed, Farrow shot off inside her with a violent shudder.

4. to reprimand, to threaten.

[UK]H. Livings Nil Carborundum (1963) Act II: When Keighly starts shooting off about ‘get your hair cut’ that’s just him fancying himself R.S.M. Britten.

5. to lose one’s temper.

[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 379: I’m sorry I shot off like that.

In phrases

shoot off at the mouth (v.) (also shoot off at the lip)

(US) to talk irresponsibly.

[US]R.W. Brown ‘Word-List From Western Indiana’ in DN III:viii 589: shoot off at the mouth, v. phr. To talk irresponsibly.
[US]Tennessean (Nashville, TN) 11 Sept. 8/4: ‘He’s just bluffing, shooting off at the lip’.
[US]Manti Messenger (UT) 22 Oct. 1/2: Seems we men will have to do more accurate shooting with the deer rifle and less shooting off at the mouth.
[UK]A. Petry Narrows 214: I don’t know what made me start shootin’ off at the mouth.
Baus & Ross Politics Battle Plan 182: Seasoned pollsters will seek to find ‘reasons why,’ noting down such comments as ‘he is arrogant’ or ‘he shoots off at the mouth too much’.
Courier-Jrnl (Louisville, KY) 6 Oct. 6/3: This game will be decided there, not by shooting off at the mouth.
N.C. Nye Ramrod Vengeance I 64: Shoots off at the mouth eve’y time he opens it. Called you a thief in Riske Quentin’s last night.
A. Hoffman Love Kills 97: They won’t catch him unless he kills again or gets drunk and shoots off at the mouth.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 127: I think you’re taking chances with that one [...] the way she shoots off at the mouth.
shoot off one’s face (v.) (also shoot one’s face off, shoot with the face)

(US) to talk effusively.

[US]S. Crane in N.Y. Press 9 Dec. in Stallman (1966) 113: Say, young feller, if yeh go shootin’ off yer face at me, I’ll wipe d’ joint wid yeh.
[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 15: shoot with the face To talk.
[US]C. M’Govern Sarjint Larry an’ Frinds 131: Every toime Oi comes to Mainly an’ hears Americans shootin’ off deir faces about wot’s to become of the de Philipeens.
[US]S.F. Call 21 May 5/2: Egghead was just shooting off his face.
[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 263: Me, I ain’t shootin’ off my face [...] until yer tells me all the latest news about Strong-arm.
[US]Black Mask Aug. III 106: Jack had been shooting off his face about Spanish history and treasures.
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 4 Apr. 16/4: The debate on the Address is notoriously the occasion for all the bores [...] to ‘shoot off their face’ as the American slang has it.
[US](con. 1900s) S. Lewis Elmer Gantry 107: Glad to see there’s one galoot here that’s got sense enough to stick by the Old Book [...] ’stead of shooting off his face like some Pseudo-Baptist.
[US]‘Max Brand’ Pleasant Jim 50: Doggone me, Jim, if it ain’t a shame the way these kids will shoot off their faces!
[US]J.T. Farrell Gas-House McGinty 331: They’re like all punks. They don’t know nothin’ about life so they shoot their faces off big.
[US]Hecht & Fowler Great Magoo 71: Dat cheap squoit shootin’ off his face!
[US]J.H. O’Hara Pal Joey 9: Right off you shoot off your face about how I wrote you.
[US]W. Pegler George Spelvin Chats 75: That old lady of yours is going to give you plenty of headaches shooting off her face.
[US]J. Steinbeck Sweet Thursday (1955) 111: She loves to shoot off her face.
shoot off one’s head (v.) (also shoot off one’s pan, shoot one’s head off) [pan n.1 (2)]

1. to talk, esp. boastfully.

[UK]Wodehouse Leave it to Psmith (1993) 516: I’m going to sit behind Lady Constance while that goof is shooting his fool head off.
[US]J. Lait Put on the Spot 24: He took it out shootin’ off his pan to that blond bozo with him.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 114: The woman was accustomed to shoot off her bally head about me.

2. to complain, to make a fuss, to argue.

[UK]D. Lawley Hustling Hobo 234: You been down to Midway shooting your head off about there being no coal.
[UK]Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves 126: A tiff occurs, and they shoot their heads off.
shoot off one’s jib (v.) (also shoot one’s jib off) [jib n.1 (1)]

to talk, esp. arrogantly or boastfully.

[US]Kramer & Karr Teen-Age Gangs 24: Maybe I shoot off my jib too much.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 150: Don’t shoot your jib off at his pad.
shoot off one’s mouth (v.) (also shoot off one’s bazoo, …lip, …yap, shoot one’s mouth off, ...bazoo off, …gums off, …kisser off, shoot one’s mouth (at)) [sense 2 + bazoo n.1 (1)/kisser n. (1a)/yap n.1 (1a)] (orig. US)

1. to talk, esp. in a loud or boastful way.

[US]Rocky Mountain News 3 Aug. n.p.: A Dutch married woman [...] was taxed $17.80 for ‘shooting off her mouth’ against the virtue and morality of a neighbouring maiden [R].
[US]St Louis Globe-Democrat 19 Jan. n.p.: These classical observations move the barkeeper to inquire what they are ‘shooting off their mouths about, then?’.
[US]Chicago Trib. 7 Apr. 3/1: Don’t ’shoot off your lip’ — you’ve got too much cheek.
[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 31 May 35/2: Ally, ole hoss, you bin a-foolin’ round this claim fur might near a year, an’ hev never yit shot off your mouth on the marrying biz.
[US]F. Francis Jr Saddle and Mocassin 136: If he could kill Indians shooting off his mouth at them, he’d soon clean out all there is.
[US]S. Crane Maggie, a Girl of the Streets (2001) 41: Youse fellers er lookin’ fer a scrap an’ it’s damn likely yeh’ll fin’ one if yeh keeps on shootin’ off yer mout’s.
[US]W.M. Raine Bucky O’Connor (1910) 23: Seems to me you shot off your mouth more than you did that big gun of yours, Mr. Sheriff.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 13 Aug. 11/4: The German Kaiser has never shot off anything more dangerous than his mouth since his reign commenced.
[UK]T. Burke Limehouse Nights 235: ’Enery – if yeh don’t stop shootin’ yeh mouth at me, I’ll push yeh blasted face in!
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 68: I’d like to take one fellow I know in school that’s always shooting his mouth off, and catch him alone—.
[US]Chicago Trib. 13 Nov. N4/1: Mussolini [...] figures that a man can do as much harm by shooting off his bazoo as he can by shooting off a Roscoe [...] How can they put a man in the ice box for shooting off his kisser.
[US]C. McKay Home to Harlem 22: Don’t go shooting off your mouth too free.
[US]W.R. Burnett Iron Man 230: I couldn’t stand for you shooting your mouth off that way.
[US]W. Smith Bessie Cotter 228: Shooting off his bazoo like he owned the dump.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Social Error’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 448: Sitting around shooting off his mouth, and putting himself away as a tough guy.
[US]Indiana Gaz. (PA) 11 Sept. 3/1: He said that after he got onto himself, he stopped shooting off his bazoo about his tolerance.
[US]C. McCullers Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1986) 124: He came in that night and started drinking, and when he was drunk he shot off his mouth about you.
Times-Herald (Port Huron, MI) 1 Apr. 4/1: The chap who’s always shooting off his yap about his deeds [...] of long ago.
[US]J. Evans Halo in Blood (1988) 87: You come busting in here and shoot off your bazoo at me and tell me if I don’t like it I can go to hell.
News leader (Staunton, VA) 31 July 4/3: He will not be run off the ball field for shooting off his kisser.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 192/1: Shoot one’s bazoo (or kisser) off. [...] Shoot one’s mouth off. [...] Shoot one’s yap off. To talk indiscreetly or belligerently; to inform authorities.
[US]B. Spicer Blues for the Prince (1989) 32: That’s because I don’t shoot off my yap so much.
[US](con. 1944) Wilder & Blum Stalag 17 [film script] 105: I had to be the ham! I had to shoot off my mouth!
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Lead With Your Left (1958) 19: ‘You shoot your gums off too,’ Wales said dryly. [...] ‘you told me the bonds were missing.’.
[US]Indianapolis Star (IN) 31 Dec. 6/2: Medina, the old bore who goes around [...] shooting off his bazoo about his great courage.
‘Ed Lacy’ Freeloaders 183: I sure shoot off my yap too much.
[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 39: If anyone murders me it’ll be because you’re shooting off your big mouth.
[UK]N. Cohn Awopbop. (1970) 67: His willingness to be outrageous, to shoot his mouth off.
[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 48: The stranger [...] saw the justice of Bob being allowed to shoot his mouth off because of his grief.
[UK]L. Mantell Murder and Chips 55: There I go again. I promised myself I’d keep my trap shut [...] But I have to shoot my mouth off. Can’t seem to help it.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 43: You go around shooting off your mouth and everybody knows your plans.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper From The Inside 105: Mick [...] has the sense not to shoot his mouth off.
[US]R.C. Cruz Straight Outta Compton 17: Shootin’ off his fat lip. Running off at the mouth.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 22 Jan. 3: That idiot from Cork shooting his mouth off etc.
[US]Hartford Courant (CT) 11 Aug. 20/2: The chief of the Dallas NAACP is forced out after shooting off his yap with a snide denigration of the Jewish people.
[US]G.V. Higgins At End of Day (2001) 163: One of them, Sean McGray, shot off his mouth — so he’s the next one to go.
[Aus]J.J. DeCeglie Drawing Dead [ebook] I’d shot my mouth off just that little bit too much.

2. (also shoot one’s mouth) to betray secrets.

[UK]P. Cheyney Don’t Get Me Wrong (1956) 91: I’m shootin’ my mouth plenty [...] An’ I’m a guy who has never talked to coppers.
[US]E. Wilson 1 Feb. [synd. col.] ‘I shoot my mouth off too much,’ [Humphrey Bogart] said.
[US]F. Paley Rumble on the Docks (1955) 162: Marchesi go shooting off his mouth outside the family.
[US]M. Puzo Godfather 93: During the meeting I shot off my mouth a little, I showed I wanted the deal.
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 95: If I see you messing around again and shooting your mouth off, I’ll go ape-shit.
[Scot]I. Welsh Trainspotting 285: The cunt thit shoots his fuckin mouth oaf eywis does mair fuckin damage thin the grass.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 85: Of course people shoot their mouths off, there’s knobheads everywhere — but not at this level.
[US]Philadelphia Dly News (PA) 31 May 34/1: The chatty doctor [...] may now be in a Namibian dungeon for shooting off his big yap.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 333: Bill Parker is losing it [...] The booze, the bum ticker [...] the way he keeps shooting his mouth off.

3. to vomit.

[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 27: Before you start shooting off your mouth I want to flog the lizard.
[UK]P. Fordham Inside the Und. 49: I was talking my big mouth off. [Ibid.] 59: Moronic people have [...] shot off their big mouths.
[UK]Guardian G2 23 June 2: The man, who is renowned for shooting his mouth off.
shoot off the fat (v.) [ety. unknown]

(Can.) to ask for credit.

[UK]M. MacFie Vancouver Island and British Columbia 416: The slang in vogue in the mining regions is imported mainly from California, and is often as expressive as it is original. [...] Another expression for wanting credit is ‘shooting off the fat.’.