How Well Do You Know English Slang?
Old English scot, sceot "a shot, a shooting, an act of shooting; that which is discharged in shooting, what is shot forth; darting, rapid motion," from Proto-Germanic *skutan (cf. Old Norse skutr, Old Frisian skete, Middle Dutch scote, German Schuß "a shot"), related to sceotan "to shoot" (see shoot (v.)).
Meaning "discharge of a bow, missile," also is from related Old English gesceot. Extended to other projectiles in Middle English, and to sports (hockey, basketball, etc.) 1868. Another original meaning, "payment" (perhaps literally "money thrown down") is preserved in scot-free. "Throwing down" might also have led to the meaning "a drink," first attested 1670s, the more precise meaning "small drink of straight liquor" by 1928 (shot glass by 1955). Camera view sense is from 1958. Sense of "hypodermic injection" first attested 1904; figurative phrase shot in the arm "stimulant" first recorded 1922. Meaning "try, attempt" is from 1756; sense of "remark meant to wound" is recorded from 1841. Meaning "an expert in shooting" is from 1780. To call the shots "control events, make decisions" is American English, 1922, perhaps from sport shooting. Shot in the dark "uninformed guess" is from 1885. Big shot "important person" is from 1861.
early 15c., past participle adjective from from shoot (v.). Meaning "wounded or killed by a bullet or other projectile" is from 1837. Figurative sense "ruined, worn out" is from 1833.
Old English sceotan "to hurl missiles, cast; strike, hit, push; run, rush; send forth swiftly; wound with missiles" (class II strong verb; past tense sceat, past participle scoten), from Proto-Germanic *skeutanan (cf. Old Saxon skiotan, Old Norse skjota "to shoot with (a weapon); shoot, launch, push, shove quickly," Old Frisian skiata, Middle Dutch skieten, Dutch schieten, Old High German skiozan, German schießen), from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, to chase, to throw, to project" (cf. Sanskrit skundate "hastens, makes haste," Old Church Slavonic iskydati "to throw out," Lithuanian skudrus "quick, nimble").
In reference to pool playing, from 1926. Meaning "to strive (for)" is from 1967, American English. Sense of "descend (a river) quickly" is from 1610s. Meaning "to inject by means of a hypodermic needle" is attested from 1914. Meaning "photograph" (especially a movie) is from 1890. As an interjection, an arbitrary euphemistic alteration of shit, it is recorded from 1934. Shoot the breeze "chat" first recorded 1941. Shoot-'em-up (adj.) in reference to violent entertainment (Western movies, etc.) is from 1942. Shoot to kill first attested 1867. Shoot the cat "to vomit" is from 1785. To shoot the moon originally meant "depart by night with ones goods to escape back rent" (1829).
O, 'tis cash makes such crowds to the gin shops roam,
And 'tis cash often causes a rumpus at home ;
'Tis when short of cash people oft shoot the moon ;
And 'tis cash always keeps our pipes in tune.
Cash! cash! &c.
["The Melodist and Mirthful Olio, An Elegant Collection of the Most Popular Songs," vol. IV, London, 1829]
"young branch of a tree or plant," mid-15c., from shoot (v.). Also "heavy, sudden rush of water" (1610s); "artificial channel for water running down" (1707); "conduit for coal, etc." (1844).
1530s, "an act of shooting;" 1852 as "a shooting match or party," from shoot (v.).
A hypodermic injection.
A small amount given or applied at one time.
beaver shot, call the shots, cheap shot, drop case, give something a shot, give something one's best shot, grab shot, half-shot, have a crack at something, hot shot, long shot, mug shot, not by a long shot, one-shot
[the drinking senses are shortenings of an early 1800s expression shot in the neck, meaning both ''a drink'' and ''drunk''; shoot, ''to guess,'' is found by 1864]
[fourth verb sense by 1891 in the case of craps]