potshot

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pot shot

1. Literally, a shot fired easily or recklessly. The phrase comes from hunting (in which shots ideally yield food for one's pot). You boys can't just take pot shots at any creature you see—there are rules we have to follow out here! Why did you fire a pot shot like that and betray our position to the enemy?
2. By extension, a reckless or careless remark directed at a vulnerable person. Now that everyone knows I was involved in that scandal, the reporters love taking pot shots at me.
See also: pot, shot

take a pot shot

1. Literally, to fire a shot easily or recklessly. The phrase comes from hunting (in which shots ideally yield food for one's pot). You boys can't just take pot shots at any creature you see—there are rules we have to follow out here!
2. By extension, to direct a reckless or careless remark at a vulnerable person. Now that everyone knows I was involved in that scandal, the reporters love taking pot shots at me.
See also: pot, shot, take

take a potshot at someone or something

 
1. Lit. to shoot at someone or something, as with a shotgun. (A potshot refers to the type of shooting done to provide meat for the cooking pot.) The hunters were taking potshots at each other in the woods. Someone has been taking potshots at my mailbox!
2. Fig. to criticize or censure someone or something, often just to be mean. Why are you taking potshots at me? What did I do to you? Everyone in the audience was taking potshots at the comedian's toupee.
See also: potshot, take

take a ˈpotshot/ˈpotshots (at somebody/something)

(informal)
1 fire at somebody without aiming carefully: Somebody took a potshot at him as he drove past.
2 criticize somebody suddenly and without thinking: The newspapers took potshots at his attempts to get into the movie business.This was originally a shot fired from a close distance to kill an animal for food (for the pot). As the shot required no skill it broke the rules of sport.
See also: potshot, take

potshot

n. a sharp criticism; a wild shot of criticism. (Usually with take.) Please stop taking potshots at me!
References in periodicals archive ?
The Hoover Institution's Bill Whalen, who took potshots at Kerry in National Review Online, spends only $14 in a Stanford, Calif.
These blind spots make Miller's screed as easy to dismiss as Sorkin's potshots.
McLeod upheld his paper's "right" to take potshots at religion by declaring that "there are as many hypocrites in organized religion today as there were when Jesus walked the earth"--thereby slandering not only millions of living believers, but countless devout Jews who are 2000 years dead and helpless to defend themselves.
Not entirely original, the format borrows from another cable-TV show, Comedy Central's Mystery Science Theater 3000, in which a man and his robots watch subliterate sic-fi and gladiator flicks and take potshots at straw men from beyond the galaxy.
Such potshots raise the wrong questions, at least to the open-minded viewer.
He followed his first big success, the enormously popular Low Man on a Totem Pole (1941), with more than thirty - five books of anecdotal humor that took potshots at all forms of pomposity and pretension.
Summary: New Delhi [India], Jan 31 (ANI): Hitting back at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for taking potshots at Rahul Gandhi over his jacket, the Congress party on Wednesday called it the BJP's desperation to bring down the Congress party president's popularity and image.
POTSHOTS in Wallasey and Millbrow in Widnes were the venues for the the Merseyside Area qualifying event of the North West Open.
THE political battle for Bihar reached its peak with both Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Bharatiya Janata Party taking potshots at each other.
The fitness expert would bend over on a training ground goal-line, wearing his marathon costume - a 'monkey thong', complete with tail - while the first team squad took potshots at his bottom from 18 yards.
But, like his former co-star, he also takes a few completely unrepeatable potshots at religion as well as rounding on Maxine Carr, the BNP and Steve Martin.
During the first part of the war, pilots were mostly used for reconnaissance, taking occasional potshots at each other and dropping hand bombs.
THREE boys were arrested for taking potshots at a school with ball-bearing guns.
Mr Jackson denied telling anybody to kick the Iraqis or taking potshots at Iraqi thieves hiding in sand dunes outside the camp.
Mr Jackson, who has since left the Army, allegedly took another soldier's rifle and took potshots at Iraqi thieves hiding in sand dunes outside the camp in a ``reckless and negligent'' act, the court heard.