Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SHOT, n.1, v., int. Also shott, †schot(t) (Jam.), shote, shoat(e); shut (I.Sc.).

I. n.

Sc. forms of Eng. shot.wm.Sc. 1988 Scotsman (3 Sep) 4:
The farmers got something back in the way of pigeon ale. One of my neighbours handed me in a couple one day saying: "Got aicht, wi a richt and left this morning and five yesterday wi the wan shote!..."
Uls. 2003 Belfast News Letter (13 Dec) 26:
A wheen o nichts afore doags kilt twonniecht o es yowes. Jeck hed bein apt ha nicht afore, oot oan tha ferm ettlin tae get a shoat aa thae doags.
Edb. 2005:
She wis killt wi a shoat tae the back o the heid.

Sc. usages:

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; Bnff. 1990s). 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, Shot, 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). Also keep shot(tie), keep (a) shoatie, stand shot, to keep a lookout. Cf. III.Edb. 1965 J. K. Annand Sing it Aince 30:
The Shoat cries, “The Polis”.
e.Lth. 1985 Mollie Hunter I'll Go My Own Way (1987) 70:
"Stand shot, now!" Her father's command brought her to her feet and sent her running to keep the lookout from the edge of the sheltering clump of trees.
Edb. 1986:
I remarked that fifty or so years ago, when I was a (day) schoolboy on the South Side of Edinburgh, our word when the police or other enemies were approaching was "Shot", and I was very interested to learn from one of the boys who had previously been at Edinburgh Academy, that their word was "Shottie".
m.Lth. 1987:
Keep a shoatie. Keep shot.
Edb. 1990:
All I did was keep shot.
Edb. 1992:
If you pick the daffs, Ah'll keep shottie fir the parkie.
Edb. 1993 Irvine Welsh Trainspotting (1994) 7:
He turned tae Raymie, whae wis steadfastly keepin shoatie at the windae. Raymie could detect a labdick in a crowded street the wey that sharks can sense a few drops of blood in an ocean.

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. Also dim. shottie.n.Sc. 1970:
Gie's a shot o your bike. Can I get a shot o your pen?
Abd. 1985 Robbie Kydd in Alexander Scott New Writing Scotland 3 46:
He tries to say, 'I'll give you a shottie of my note-book,' but half-way through he has to run away.
Gsw. 1985 Michael Elder Stookie 9:
"Ye no' gonny let anyone else get a shot wi' the ball?"
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 2:
Naw, ye cannae get a shot. Because it belangs tae the cinema an ah buy the batteries.
Per. 1990 Betsy Whyte Red Rowans and Wild Honey (1991) 18:
'Give me a shot of your coat,' ...
Edb. 1993:
Don't fight. Hae shots each wi the computer.
wm.Sc. 1993:
Tak shots each o the ba.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 71:
If Spain can gie fowk sunshades, surely tae God (nae offence, yer Reverence) Aiberdeen's Toun Council cud gie the tourists free shotties o umbrellas an kagouls fur the beach.
Gsw. 1999 Jimmy Boyle Hero of the Underworld 53:
'Right, give me a shot,'
ne.Sc. 2000 Herald (27 Mar) 28:
"Fit like? Fit can I get you?" "I'll hae a mug o' espresso, a rowie, a twa-bar electric fire, and a shot of yer Crombie coat please."

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.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Shot n.1, v., interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: