Shoot! is an exclamation meaning “dang it!” or for people who swear, “damn it.”  I  said, “shoot!” because I have neglected my blog for awhile. I have been busy teaching and developing a course for SkimaTalk called Misused and Misunderstood Words.

But today, I saw a Facebook post of my son-in-law working a cattle chute (pronounced like shoot).  The men put the cattle in the chute, which is a type of pen or cage that prevents the animal from moving, so they could be given their shots.

Chris shoot

It occurred to me that there are a gazillion* uses for the words shoot and shot.  And I thought it might be fun to share them with you.  I’ve included an example for each meaning.

A big shot  Someone important, “You don’t have to be a big shot to be treated like one at our store.”

A cheap shot This expression uses the fourth meaning of shot (below).  It means an insult that is highly personal, or that is given at a time or manner where the person being attacked can’t respond.   “That comment about her age was a cheap shot.”

A shot  • 1. An attempt or try, “I’ve never done that sort of thing before, but I’ll give it a shot.”

• 2. The sound a gun makes, “I heard three shots then the sound of tires peeling out.” 

• 3. A serving of strong alcohol, often served in a shot glass, ranging from 1.25-1.5 ounces (40-44 mL),  “A shot of whiskey is said to aid digestion.” (See more about this in My Take On It below)

4.  An insult or criticism, “The politician took a shot at her opponents, calling their ideas primitive.”

•5. An injection, “The nurse gave us our shots today.” 

A Shot of a Deer
Shot of a Deer, by M. W. Snider

•6. A photograph, “I got a great shot of the deer.”

7. An unobstructed view (especially through the scope of a gun), “I’ve got a shot (of the deer)!

•8. Someone who shoots a gun, “I’m not a very good shot.”

•9. In sports: a hit or kick of a ball, The shot ricocheted off the sideboard and into the goal.

•10. A pellet in a BB gun, or shotgun, The shotgun shells are loaded with lead shot.

Buckshot. Illustration courtesy of Remington Arms Co., Inc.
  • A shot in the arm  This expression uses the fifth meaning of shot (above). It means a boost, or something that makes you feel better. “That extra funding was a real shot in arm for our project.”

    Army Medicine photo posted on Flickr, Sept 7, 2012
    Army Medicine, Flickr, Sept 7, 2012

A shot in the dark  This expression uses the first meaning of “a shot.” It means a blind attempt*, an attempt which is likely to fail, or a wild guess. “I asked the neighbors to let us know if they spot* our runaway lizard.  I figured it was a shot in the dark.”

 A shoot A photography session (this includes video, motion picture, and still photography), “The models arrived at the shoot.”

Call the shots To give orders/to be in charge, “While the boss is on vacation, Mr. Howard will be calling the shots.”

Shot  To move quickly (like something being shot out of a gun), “The pain shot through my hand.”

Shoot!  In addition to the exclamation of frustration described at the top of this post, Shoot! also means go ahead, Q.* Can I ask you a question?, A. Shoot!

Shoot something off  To quickly send something somewhere (see the related “shoot something to someone” below), “I need to shoot an email off before we leave.”

Shoot the breeze Casual conversation about a variety of topics, “We sat on the bench and shot the breeze for about an hour.”

Shoot your mouth off  To talk about something that you shouldn’t share (especially about someone else), “I would tell the kids more about our plans if I weren’t afraid they would shoot their mouths off.”

To shoot something to someone This means to send someone something quickly, “I shot them a text letting them know we would meet them at seven.”

Straight-shooter  An honest person who “tells it like it is”,* “I’m looking for a politician who is a straight shooter.” 

My Take On It

Because this blog is committed to presenting a Christian perspective, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about my thoughts about drinking.   There are Christian churches that forbid the consumption of alcohol, while others are silent, or even serve wine at Communion.*

Paul writes in his first letter to the church in Corinth, chapter six

12 “Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything.

He expands on this idea throughout his letter, explaining that God has blessed us with many things including, food, wine and sex.  In and of themselves* these things are neither right or wrong. It is how we use what has been given to us that matters. Click To Tweet

As Paul advises, we must be considerate of the needs and concerns of those around us.  Every good thing has been given by God and was intended to bless us.  We can misuse and abuse these good things however and the result is no longer good.

Generations of my family have struggled with alcoholism, which is a terribly misunderstood disease.  My personal solution is to avoid alcohol since I have a genetic risk but have not yet developed the disease.  And on the occasions when I do have a drink, I limit myself to one.

Blessings,    Michele  


2 thoughts on “Shoot!

  1. I know your mother and father and the details associated with their agreement, as young parents, to not consume alcohol. I believe your attitude on alcohol consumption is reflected in that family experience. God bless you! God has blessed your parents.

  2. Shoot! I thought I could find another use of the words. I gave it a shot but could not think of another use. You have covered it all. Good work!

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