Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SHOT, n.1, v., int. Also shott, †schot(t) (Jam.), shoate; shut (I.Sc.). Sc. usages: I. n. 1. As in †Eng., a rush, dash forward. In Sc. extended to mean (1) progress, advance, in phr. to come shot, to make headway or progress (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems Gl.). Cf. also Du. schot maaken, to make headway, of a ship. Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 63:
But little shot she came, an' yet the sweat Was draping frae her at an unko rate.

(2) Specif.: “a set of heavy breakers, three to five in number, followed by a lull caused by the back-wash” (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.).

2. A discharge, flux, issue of fluid: (1) from the body (Kcb. 1970). Also attrib. Dmf. 1777  Dmf. Weekly Mag. (24 June) 4:
Swelled legs, colt ill, hoof-ointments, sore eyes, shut salves.
Sc. 1841  W. Dick Manual Veter. Science (1862) 148:
Cattle and sheep after indulging in luxuriant pastures, take what is called a Shot of Blood.
Sc. 1844  H. Stephens Bk. Farm II. 226:
A complaint called a shot of grease [among horses].
Abd. 1923  Banffshire Jnl. (15 May) 3:
Ye'll be takkin' a shot o' grease if ye dinna tak' an airin'.

(2) gen. in pl. = Foreshot, 2. (Sc. 1825 Jam., schot(t)s).

3. In Curling: the playing of a stone towards the tee; the score awarded to any stone which lies nearer to the tee than its opponents; a stone so played. Gen.Sc. Also used adv. Sim. in carpet bowls (sm.Sc. 1970). Phrs. (a') the shot(t), the winning stone (Sc. 1833 J. Cairnie Curling 135); to draw a or the shot, to aim straight for the tee; to lie shot, to lie in the winning position. Sc. 1773  J. Graeme Poems 39:
Of many a bonspeel gain'd, Against opposing parishes; and shots, To human likelihood secure, yet storm'd.
Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 167:
A slow shot drew, wi' muckle care, Which settled on the tee.
Sc. 1819  Edb. Ev. Courant (15 Feb.) 3:
The elegant medal given by the Merchiston Curling Club was won by Alexander Ritchie, Esq., Canonmills, at the high number of fifteen shots.
Lnk. 1864  J. Greenshields Lesmahagow 213:
“Draw me a shot”, i.e. “gradually approach,” “come here.”
Sc. 1890  J. Kerr Curling 415:
Every competitor shall play four shots at each of the eight following points of the game, viz.: — Striking, inwicking, . . .
Slg. 1901  R. Buchanan Poems 99:
We're lying shot afore the gairds.
Dmf. 1937  T. Henderson Lockerbie 58:
He decided by a side shot on his first stone to try and knock out the winner and leave his own stone shot.
Sc. 1941  Royal Caled. Curling Club Annual xxx.:
A Rink shall score one shot for every Stone which is nearer the Tee than any Stone of the opposing Rink.

4. In Weaving: a single movement of the shuttle of a loom carrying the weft across the web (Ags., Fif., Rnf., Ayr. 1970); one thread of each colour or kind of yarn carried by the shuttle (Sc. 1880 Jam.). Cf. Eng. shot, ppl.adj., of variable colour. Hence shot-about, of cloth: having different-coloured strands of yarn in its texture, “striped of various colours” (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl., “from the act of shooting or throwing shuttles alternately, containing different threads” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Also attrib., of cloth of this pattern. Comb. sma' shot, see 1904 quot. and Sma. Sc. 1776  Weaver's Index 90:
How much Warp it takes to make the Web at the shot.
Per. 1835  J. Monteath Dunblane Trad. (1887) 104:
He was a shot-about weaver to trade.
Gsw. 1863  J. Young Ingle Nook 90:
This day a shot he hasna treadl't.
Rxb. 1881  R. Fairley Teviotside Musings (1892) 32:
To learn plain claith and common tweel And celtic, twa shotts in the shed.
Fif. 1894  A. S. Robertson Provost 66:
If I had his abilities I wouldna ca' anither shot.
Rnf. 1904  M. Blair Paisley Shawl 38:
The bridle was therefore composed of, say two ground shots, one of each of the spotting colours, and then a shot of fine lace cotton. This is the “sma' shot”. . . . The small shot acted as a binder for all the other colours, and was not intended to be seen.

5. (1) The shooting of a fishing-net into the water (Sc. 1808 Jam.); a draught of fishes in a net or on lines, a boat's total catch (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnf. 230). Gen.Sc. Per. 1750  Session Papers, Magistrates Perth v. Gray (9 Jan.) 17:
They can make their Shot in much shorter Time than the Sleples Fishers; but thinks, if they were to take two Shots for the Sleples Fishers one, it would hinder the Sleples Fishers a little.
Abd. 1795  Session Papers, Leslie v. Fraser (29 March 1805) 58:
Taking chance shots, without seeing the run of the fish.
Sc. 1825  Caled. Mercury (22 Jan.):
The boats in the Frith had an excellent shot on Monday.
Ags. 1830  Perthshire Advert. (19 Aug.):
The take of salmon in the river Isla, has, as yet, been comparatively small. The “Red Brae,” so much famed for shots, has been but meagrely productive this season.
Fif. 1869  St Andrews Gazette (30 Oct.):
Fair “shots” of small haddocks and whitings from their lines.
Bnff. 1887  G. G. Green Gordonhaven 40:
“Shot” being the usual term among fishermen for the results of a night's fishing.
Sh. 1934  W. Moffatt Shetland 115:
Two or three drifters lie at this pier, discharging their “shots” of herrings.

(2) the nets, lines, etc., which are shot into the water at one time, in quot. of lobster-pot gear. Abd. 1952  Fraserburgh Herald (2 Sept.):
70 Creels (new), 6 Baskets Great Line, 30 Creel Shots, 6 small Lines.

6. Specif.: in salmon fishing, a part of a river where nets are shot, a reach (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); a fishing-ground at sea. Comb. shot-head, the upper end of a salmon shot in a river. Per. 1750  Session Papers, Magistrates Perth v. Gray (9 Jan.) 6:
The general Rule is, for the second Boat to set out from the Shot-head when the first Boat's Net is haled in.
Mry. 1763  Appeal Cases, Lords (Paton) II. 79:
The respondents' fishing in the river Spey was divided into stations — the lower was called the Haven shot.
Abd. 1801  J. Cranna Fraserburgh (1914) 59:
The “Shott, of Alexander Stephen at the great line fishing.”
Per. 1827  W. Motherwell Minstrelsy 232:
And there they got the bonnie lad's corpse In the kirk shot o' bonnie Cargill.
Inv. 1877  Scotsman (14 Feb.) 3:
The Friars Water of Ness, otherwise the Friars Shot and salmon fishing of the same.

7. The wooden trough or conduit by which water is carried to a mill-wheel; in pl. also the boxes on the rim of the wheel into which the water falls, the buckets (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.). Cf. Eng. overshot, of a mill-wheel. Combs. shot-head, the water dammed up in the shot; shot-wan(d), the lever of the sluice controlling the flow of water to the wheel (Bnff.2 1930). This however may be a different word to be associated with Shot, n.3, n.4 Cf. also note to Shottle and M.L.Ger. schutt, dam, sluice, penstock. Ags. 1795  Session Papers, Arbuthnott v. Scott (11 March) 172:
He has measured the quantity of water in a shot-head.

8. A piece of ground (Lth. 1808 Jam.), esp. one cropped rotationally. Obs. in Eng. exc. dial. Now only in place-names. Comb. shot-dale, communal occupancy of land in shots distributed and usu. tilled in rotation by a group of tenants, run-rig. See Rin, v., 1. (2). Peb. 1738  C. B. Gunn Ch. Drumelzier (1931) 57:
A shott of corn which had been run over with the flood.
e.Lth. 1740  Trans. E. Lth. Antiq. Soc. X. 51:
In the 12 riges of the middle shot.
Sc. 1743  R. Maxwell Select Trans. 32:
The Infield is divided into three Shots or Parts, much about eighteen Acres in all.
Rxb. 1778  Session Papers, Memorial W. Dickson (26 Feb.) 5:
The said shot of ground called Tofts.
Lth. 1787  Session Papers, Earl of Abercorn v. Jamieson (12 Nov.) Proof 27–8:
The grounds were then possessed in different shots by the tenants. . . . He had frequent occasion to be upon the ground when it was lying in shot-dale, as above deponed to.
e.Lth. 1794  G. Buchan-Hepburn Agric. E.Lth. 49:
The in-field in this country was divided into four brakes, or what we vulgarly call shotts, under the following rotation of crops.
Sc. 1821  Scott Pirate xxx.:
An enclosure in the middle of my bit shot of corn.
Sc. a.1830  Tamlane in
Child Ballads No. 39 N. ii.:
Out and spak the queen o fairies, Out o a shot o wheat.
Fif. 1962  Scots Mag. (June) 208:
Down the Castle-shotts, which was a rough track.

9. A corpse used for anatomical dissection, a cadaver, prob. a reduced form of “a shot for the doctors.” Sc. 1828  West Port Murders (Ireland) 54, 61:
He asked me to go down to his house to see what a shot he had got for the Doctors. . . . When Burke said he had got a shot for the Doctors, how did you know what he meant by a shot? I heard it often before.

10. One of a group of children who acts as look-out for the approach of a policeman, etc. (Edb. 1970). Cf. III. Edb. 1965  J. K. Annand Sing it Aince 30:
The Shoat cries, “The Polis”.

11. Used adv. in phr. to begin new shot, new bod, “to begin any business de novo, after one has been engaged in it for a time”, to start all over again (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.), phs. from O.Sc. shot, an aim, target (1644). The phr. new schot, new bod is found in 1535. See also Bod, n.3

12. A brief loan, a temporary use, not necessarily as in Eng. connoting a try-out. n.Sc. 1970  :
Gie's a shot o your bike. Can I get a shot o your pen?

II. v. 1. To shoot (Sh. 1901 Shetland News (21 Sept.), 1967 New Shetlander No. 83. 18, shut; I.Sc. (shut), ne. and em. Sc. (a) 1970). Only in pr.t. and inf., the pa.t and pa.p. being supplied from Shuit, q.v. Agent n. shotter, shooter (n.Sc. 1970). Edb. 1711  W. Mitchell Tincklar's Test. 9:
The Devil is shotting at you, the World is shotting at you.
Ork. 1729  H. Marwick Merchant Lairds (1939) II. 73:
A well shoateing riffle gune of about 12 drop ball . . . a large riffle that will shoate about an ounce or 20 drop ball 150 yrds distance.
Bnff. 1787  W. Taylor Poems 55:
My buckles glancin' like starn shottan.
Mry. 1873  J. Brown Round Table Club 183:
Maybe they're shottin' stars.
Cai. 1896  J. Horne Canny Countryside 101:
“Weel, I'll shot masel'.” “Shot awa'.”
Gsw. 1910  H. Maclaine My Frien' 63:
The Celts'll be weariet shotin' twa goals.
Bnff. 1964  Banffshire Advert. (16 Jan.) 9:
Fit are they shottin' at ye for?

2. In Fishing: to shoot or cast lines or nets in the water (ne.Sc. 1970). Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 155:
We wir jist beginnin' t' shot the lines, fin the ween wastert.
Bnff. 1887  G. Hutcheson Days of Yore 35:
At sea it always required skilled seamanship on the part of the skippers to guide the operation of “shoting” the nets.
Abd. 1951  Scots Mag. (Nov.) 117:
We're shottin' the nets here.

3. Phr. to shot to the line, see quot. Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 23:
When a hook gets entangled on the bottom, the line is pulled with as great a strain as it will bear and then suddenly let go, and the hook commonly springs; as, “Cast upon the line, man, an' nae brack 'ir”. Shot to the line has the same meaning.

III. int. As an excl. of warning among children of the approach of a policeman, teacher or other person to be eluded (Edb. 1903 Farmer and Henley Slang VI. 195; Fif., Lth. 1970).

[O.Sc. schot, in a river, 1473, a piece of ground, 1580, in curling, 1694, schott, to shoot, a.1578. The v. is taken from the n. Cf. Shuit.]

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"Shot n.1, v., interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Dec 2017 <>



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