Sunday, February 21, 2016


 Mark asked why we use the word shot in the phrase a shot and a beer.   Shot comes from an Old English word—sceot—that described a darting, rapid motion. When most Americans drink from a shot glass, they do not sip delicately; they throw the contents back quickly, swallowing in one go.

Shot is an interesting word because it has so many meanings. It is

·      the discharge of a weapon (the shot heard ‘round the world)
·      an attempt in sports to score (the shot was wide of the net)
·      a picture opportunity for a camera (a great shot of the sunset)
·      a hypodermic injection (get your flu shot)
·      an attempt to do something (give it a shot)
·      an uninformed guess (shot in the dark)
·      an important person (big shot)
·      an unfairly critical remark (cheap shot)
·      metal pellets in a cartridge (bird shot)
·      an attempt to reach a distant target via rocket (a moon shot)
·      a boost to one’s spirits (a shot in the arm)

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


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