Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shot adj.

1. (US/Aus./N.Z.) drunk , thus half-shot, tipsy (cf. cupshot under cup n.).

Hornellsville Wkly Trib. (NY) 11 May 1/3: ‘I’m a nice young man, yes I am — tight! tore! shot! drunk!’.
[US]Harper’s Mag. May 856/2: He again sat down by the fire, [...] by which time he was pretty well ‘shot’ [DA].
[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 18: shot a. Intoxicated.
[Aus]G.H. Lawson Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms [Internet] SHOT–To be drunk.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl.
[US]Phila. Eve. Bulletin 5 Oct. 40/5: Here are a few more terms and definitions from the ‘Racket’ vocabulary: [...] ‘shot,’ [...] intoxicated.
[US]A. Hardin ‘Volstead English’ in AS VII:2 88: Terms referring to the state of intoxication: [...] Verbs: Shot.
[Aus]Mail (Adelaide) 30 May 9/5: A person who has imbibed too well is ‘shot’.
[US]P. Wylie Generation of Vipers 189: She loses count of her drinks and is liable to get a little tiddly, which is to say, shot or blind.
[US]Democrat & Chron. (Rochester, NY) 24 Dec. 2/2: ‘We were half-shot (drunk)’.
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 214: And threatened to tramp him if he come on shot that night.
[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 218: You were tight then all right. Tight as a drum. Well and truly shot.
[Ire]D. Healy Bend for Home 203: The lads have poitín in the jacks, Mal Elliot is half shot and Dermot is half cut.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 187: shot to the eyeballs Very drunk. ANZ.

2. (US) nervous, on edge.

[US]Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer 307: Jez Rosie you cant go on being jumpy like; you’re gettin me all shot too.
[US]Hecht & Fowler Great Magoo 65: He gets me alone and says to me, ‘Axel, I’m all shot.’.

3. (orig. Aus., also all shot, shot at, shot away, shot through) of a person, exhausted or in bad shape.

[US]F.S. Fitzgerald ‘May Day’ in Bodley Head Scott Fitzgerald V (1963) 144: You certainly look all shot.
[US]J. Lait Put on the Spot 11: The poor kid’s all shot—I mean bothered up, naturally.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 597: If he only could [...] not be wondering would he, by afternoon, feel pooped and shot.
[US]M. Richler Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1964) 33: And man o man was he ever shot!
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 196: Shot Very tired.
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 84: Been out, getting laid [...] and he’s all shot.
[US]M. Baker Nam (1982) 193: I was really shot, blown up emotionally.
[Aus]M. Bail Holden’s Performance (1989) 263: ‘She’s shot through,’ he reported, meaning Miss Kilmartin.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 382: The man looked shot.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 21 May 6: He was so shot away on pills and alcohol that he drove his car off the road.
[UK] (ref. to 1940s) B. Morrison Things My Mother Never Told Me 87: Someone who’s exhausted is shot at.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Rosa Marie’s Baby (2013) [ebook] He couldn’t believe the day was shot.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 351: He points at his temple, makes a circle, as if to say she’s too shot-away.

4. (US, also all shot, shotty) of a thing, lost, useless, worn out or beyond repair.

[US]J.P. McEvoy Hollywood Girl 63: The Broadway racket is all shot.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 445: Yeah, the old neighbourhood is shot.
[US](con. 1920s) Dos Passos Big Money in USA (1966) 1096: His kidneys were shot and he was on the winewagon he said.
[US]T. Thursday ‘Good Luck is No Good’ in Federal Agent Nov. [Internet] Shrimpo decided that the fellow’s nerves were all shot and thought to humor him along.
[US]J. Steinbeck Grapes of Wrath (1951) 62: Looks shot, buy they’s thousan’s of miles in her.
[US]A. Lomax Mister Jelly Roll (1952) 86: ‘From writing music, playing pool and looking for spots on cards under bright lights, my eyes is shot,’ said a very subdued Mister Jelly Roll.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 105: It’s just that your confidence is shot.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 17: There ain’t one of us whose nerves ain’t shot.
[US]H. Gold Man Who Was Not With It (1965) 141: The body was shot with rust [...] but the motor could always be fixed.
[UK]R. Frede Entry E (1961) 130: The day wasn’t entirely shot.
[US]W.B. Miller ‘Gang Delinquency’ in Short Gang Delinquency and Delinquent Subcultures (1968) 151: We can’t chicken out on this fight; our rep would be shot!
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 31: [of suits] My other three’s just about shot.
[US]E. Tidyman Shaft 27: The day was shot.
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 138: After the collapse, both the credibility of du Cann and his brokerage would be completely shot.
[US]T. Berger Sneaky People (1980) 114: The muffler’s rusted out, and the paint on the hood is shot.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 50: Her credibility would be shot, and so would the five grand.
[US]K. Scott Monster (1994) 60: My nerves were all but shot.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Fall 7: shotty – half-hearted, done in a poor way: ‘The Chicago Bears are a shotty football team’.
[UK]J. Hoskison Inside 78: His co-ordination looked shot.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 21 May 5: His circulation was so shot he could hardly move his legs.
[NZ]A. Duff Jake’s Long Shadow 71: You try and shift half a ton a dirt sittin’ on your pretty li’l shot, rotting head.
[US]N. Green Angel of Montague Street (2004) 246: The truck was gutless [...] the suspension was shot.
[US]W. Ellis Crooked Little Vein 2: Maybe it actually reeked and my sense of smell was shot.
N. Tabor in Oxford American 2 Mar. [Internet] The investigation had been shot from the beginning.

In phrases

get shot (v.)

1. (Aus.) to be dismissed.

[Aus]Worker (Brisbane) 4 Sept. 8/3: Poor Billy Mayne has got ‘the spear’ and Dick his mate is ‘shot’!
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 46: COPPING THE BULLET: getting dismissed: synonymous with getting sacked, getting the wallop, getting the sack, getting shunted, getting fired [...] getting shot, get the chuck.

2. (US prison) to be punished by loss of privileges.

[US](con. 1930s) J. Brown Monkey Off My Back (1972) 40: To be caught giving larger portions meant you would get ‘shot’ (this meant you were written up for disciplinary action which could result in the loss of such privileges as smoking or attending the movies).
get shot in the tail (v.)

see under tail n.

half shot (adj.)

(orig. US) tipsy, mildly drunk.

[US]J.C. Neal Charcoal Sketches (1865) 13: If your tongue wasn’t so thick, I’d say you must mosey: but moseying is only to be done when a gemman’s half shot.
[US]North-Carolinan (Fayetteville, NC) 18 Nov. 1/6: Drunk [...] shot in the neck, half-shot, a skin full.
[US]W.C. Gore Student Sl. in Cohen (1997) 18: shot a. Intoxicated. ‘He was about half shot.’.
[US]G. Stuart Forty Years on the Frontier I 174: Charlie, ‘half-shot’ came along and begun to issue orders [DA].
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl. 48: shot. Drunk. Hence, half-shot. Half-drunk.
[US]A. Hardin ‘Volstead English’ in AS VII:2 88: Terms referring to the state of intoxication: [...] Verbs: Shot, half shot.
[UK]J.R. Cole It was so Late 10: ‘Don’t shoot the barman, he’s half shot already.’ [...] ‘Bit of a session, eh?’ [OED].
[NZ]G. Meek ‘The Ballad of the Rouseabout’ Station Days in Maoriland 95: Gun shearers who, big tallies do, / When half-shot at the pub.
[US]Mad mag. Dec. 22: Me not Pot-Shot Pete! My name Half-Shot Shemete!
[Aus]D. Ireland Chantic Bird 29: They’d bottle you for two bob if they thought you were half shot.
[Ire]H. Leonard A Life (1981) Act II: You could drink Jameson’s distillery dry, and you might get half shot.
[NZ]J. Henderson Exiles of Asbestos Cottage 14: Plenty of garrulous half-shot but willing hands had all the wool stacked safely in the store.
[UK]I. Rankin Let It Bleed 109: Aye, and maybe he’s half-shot and sleeping it off.
shot between wind and water (adj.) (also hulled between wind and water, shot betwixt wind and water, shot ’twixt…) [see ety. at shot between wind and water under shot n.1 ]

infected with venereal disease; thus get/shoot someone between wind and water v., to infect a person with venereal disease.

[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Philaster IV i: Shot him between wind and water.
[UK]J. Denham Pooley and Killigrew 104: You have been an old Fornicater, And now are shot ’twixt wind and Water.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Shot ’twixt Wind and Water, Clapt, or poxt.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Shot betwixt wind and water; poxed or clapped.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 86: Cueillir des lauriers = to copulate; ‘to get hulled between wind and water.’.
[US]Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 198: If he is not particular as to whether he gets her ’twixt wind and water, he may prefer to shoot her in the tail.
shot down (adj.)

1. (drugs) under the influence of drink or drugs [SE + play on shot n.1 (6b)].

[US](con. early 1950s) J. Peacock Valhalla 55: He’s three-quarters shot down all the time.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 19: Shot down — Under the influence of drugs.

2. (US campus) miserable, useless, distasteful [SE + play on down adv.1 (1)].

[US]G. Swarthout Where the Boys Are 98: I’m so embarrassed and sorry and shot down.
[US]‘Hy Lit’ Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 35: shot down – [...] depressed.
[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 66: What a shot-down day.
shot full of holes (adj.)

1. (Aus./N.Z.) drunk.

[NZ] (ref. to 1910s) McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 101/2: shot full of holes tipsy; Anzacs WWI: Kiwis 1915, Australians 1918.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].

2. (US) suffering a nervous breakdown; also as v.

[US]R. Chandler High Window 189: ‘A mental disturbance, I gather.’ ‘She found a man murdered,’ I said. ‘It shot her full of holes.’.
shot in the ass (adj.) [image of narcotic addiction]

(US) obsessed with, excessively dedicated to.

[US](con. 1950) E. Frankel Band of Brothers 4: At least he don’t act like he’s shot in the ass with the Corps [...] Might not volunteer us for every damn’ cruddy detail.
[US]E. Shepard Doom Pussy 129: She’s really shot in the ass with you, Smasherino.
shot in the neck (n.)

a drink.

[US] ‘Last Bloody Duel Fought in Ohio’ in T.A. Burke Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 180: ‘I think I’ll take a little of the “Old Bourbon”.’ The two then exchanged a ‘shot in the neck’.
shot in the neck (adj.)

(US) drunk.

[US]Cherokee Phenix 21 Apr. 4/3: Counsel. What do you mean by corned? Witness. I mean, pretty well shot in the neck [DA].
[US]A. Greene Life and Adventures of Dr Dodimus Duckworth II 176: He was seldom downright drunk; but was often [...] shot in the neck.
[US]North-Carolinan (Fayetteville, NC) 18 Nov. 1/6: Drunk [...]shot in the neck, half-shot, a skin full.
[UK]Brooklyn Journal 18 Apr. n.p.: Mr. Schumacher defended his client by observing that some of the prisoners’ attorneys got as often shot in the neck as the Under-Sheriff in the head [F&H].
[US]Burlington Sentinel in Hall (1856) 461: We give a list of a few of the various words and phrases which have been in use, at one time or another, to signify some stage of inebriation: [...] shot in the neck.
[US] in R.G. Carter Four Brothers in Blue (1978) 274: He was ‘shot in the neck’ with ‘brandy’ for nearly three days.
[US]N.O. Picayune Mar. 17 n.p.: Your Honor, I found this man dead drunk in the gutter on the Place d’Armes, and when I tried to help him up he offered to fight me, saying that he was not drunk, but only shot in the neck.
shot in the tail (adj.) [SE shot + tail n. (2)]


[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[US]Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 199: Phrases anent the expectant state fall into three main groups […] In the second class, one encounters such phrases as been sitting in the garden with the garden gate unlocked and shot in the tail.
shot out (adj.) [shoot v. (6a)]

(drugs) of a narcotics addict, worn out from an excess of drug use.

[US]E. Little Another Day in Paradise 4: They were tracked-up, shot-out female children who were my surrogate sisters and mothers.
[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Shot out (to the curb): Useless, worn out.
[US]Prison Slang Mommyblogger 2 Mar. [Internet] Shady-ass motherfucker is obviously throwed off, nutted up, and off the chain. The man is plain shot-out.
shot (out) to the curb (adj.)

of a person, completely destroyed, useless, having lost everything; usu. with ref. to crack cocaine.

[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Shot out (to the curb): Useless, worn out.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 10: Gone, Shot to the curb — Lost everything to crack. [Ibid.] 19: Shot to the curb — A person who has lost it all to crack.
shot to pieces (adj.) (also all shot to pieces, shot all to pieces, shot to shit)

in a state of utter collapse.

[US]W.M. Raine Bucky O’Connor (1910) 245: Shot all to pieces, boy. No, I got no time to have you play doctor with me.
News & Obs. (Raleigh, NC) 8 Oct. 4/1: Indiana is indeed ‘plum shot to pieces’sh.
[US]O. Johnson Varmint 113: At this moment the awful wreck of the Coffee-colored Angel limped up. A chorus broke out: ‘The Coffee-colored Angel!’ ‘Shot to pieces!’.
[US]R. Lardner You Know Me Al (1984) 78: The Cub pitchers was all shot to peaces [sic] an the bad weather is just nuts for them.
[US]H.C. Witwer Smile A Minute 96: Their morality, as the official daily comics calls it, is all shot to pieces.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 107: But can’t you understand I’m shot to pieces? I’m all in!
[US]S. Ornitz Haunch Paunch and Jowl 257: You look kinda shot to pieces.
[UK]G. Kersh Night and the City 251: I’ve been on the booze. I’m all broken up. I’m shot to pieces.
[Aus]D. Niland Call Me When the Cross Turns Over (1958) 150: Look, just sit down and try and get hold of yourself. You’re shot to pieces.
[NZ]B. Crump Hang On a Minute, Mate (1963) 24: When we first got her every forward gear was shot to pieces.
[US] Letter in Edelman Dear America (1985) 31 Jan. 82: Another month shot to shit. See ya pronto.
[Aus]M. Bail Homesickness (1999) 208: His nerves are gone – shot to pieces.
[US](con. 1968) D.A. Dye Citadel (1989) 245: Control rods all shot to shit.
[US]G. Indiana Rent Boy 90: My nerves are shot to shit.
[Aus]J.J. DeCeglie Drawing Dead [ebook] My life was completely shot to motherfucking shit.
shot up (adj.)

1. of an object, e.g. a car, damaged by shooting.

[UK]Guardian 29 Sept. 7/3: Limerick City ‘shot up’ by police. The term ‘shot up’ covers wild indiscriminate street fighting.
Vernal Exp. (VT) 4 Jan. 7/5: The shot-up shell of the fusilage and the wing.
[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 151: Beano looked up from working on the shot-up mill.
[US](con. 1968) D.A. Dye Citadel (1989) 199: This maggot-infested, shot-up excuse for a no good motherfucking city.
[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 48: O, my bird got all shot up, and I’ll probably cry a lot, / But I still think that it’s shit-hot, so fuck ’em all.

2. (drugs) experiencing the effect of narcotic drugs [shoot up v.2 (1)].

[US]D. Maurer ‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in Lang. Und. (1981) 108/2: shot up. Under the influence of narcotics.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics 314: shot up. Under the influence of drugs.
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore.

3. (US) of a person, or limb, severely wounded.

[US]C.R. Bond 5 Jan. in A Flying Tiger’s Diary (1984) 174: Bill Brouk, who was still hobbling around on a shot-up leg.
[US]L. Hughes Tambourines to Glory Prologue: Sure, I have my troubles, get shot up once in a while, ambushed, assassinated.
[US](con. 1943) C. Chessman Cell 2455 244: I was one of the bretheren, if a decidedly shot-up and down-at-heel one.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 244: You’re the kid who was in on that Village stick-up and got shot up.
[US]S. Longstreet Straw Boss (1979) 356: An old hit man, retired because of a shotup leg.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 39: He’s seen GIs coming back plenty more shot up than this kid.

4. of the body, not well.

[US]O. Strange Sudden Takes the Trail 166: My nerves is all shot up.
[US]C. Neider Authentic Death of Hendry Jones 2: Mister your thinking has got itself shot up a little.
[UK]D. Jarman letter 28 May Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 133: My lungs are a bit shot up.
shot up the back (adj.)

(Aus.) disconcerted; confused.

[Aus]W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 44: shot up the back — Disconcerted; confused.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 257: Shot Up The back, To Be: To be found out: to be put out of action.

In exclamations