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blow (one's) wad

1. To lose or spend all of one's money. My Las Vegas trip was short lived—I blew my wad at the poker table in the first two hours! Here's $20 for the weekend, don't blow your whole wad tonight.
2. Of a man, to ejaculate semen during an orgasm.
3. To lose control of one's composure, temper, patience, or nerve in a given situation. A reference to premature ejaculation, it is usually used in the negative. Don't blow your wad, we'll get there soon. The game is in 30 minutes. I know you're nervous, but stay sharp, don't blow your wad now.
See also: blow, wad

shoot one's wad

Sl. to spend all or nearly all one's cash on hand. I shot my wad on junk food. I can't afford a cab. I shot my wad at the restaurant.
See also: shoot, wad

shoot your wad

1. (American informal) to spend or use everything that you have He's going to shoot his wad on his night out - whatever it costs for a good time.
2. (American informal) to say everything that you want to say about a particular subject Our opponents shot their wad at the meeting and left everyone in no doubt that they would oppose our plans.
3. (British, American & Australian taboo) if a man shoots his wad, semen (= thick liquid containing a man's seed) comes out of his penis He shot his wad as soon as she took her blouse off.
See fire blanks
See also: shoot, wad

shoot one's bolt

Also, shoot one's wad. Do all within one's power; exhaust one's resources or capabilities. For example, They were asking for more ideas but Bob had shot his bolt and couldn't come up with any , or Don't shoot your wad with that article or you won't have any material for the sequels. The first expression comes from archery and referred to using up all of one's bolts (short, heavy arrows fired with a crossbow); it was a proverb by the 1200s. The colloquial variant, dating from about 1900, comes from gambling and refers to spending all of a wad of rolled-up banknotes. Also see shoot the works.
See also: bolt, shoot

wad up

To crumple or compress something into a wad: I wadded up the piece of paper and threw it in the trash. The janitor wadded the tissues up and threw them away.
See also: up, wad

shoot one’s wad

tv. to spend or use everything. I can’t afford a cab. I shot my wad at the restaurant.
See also: shoot, wad

tight wad

n. a stingy person; a miser. (see also wad.) There’s no need to be such a tight wad.
See also: tight, wad


1. (wɑd) n. a bundle of money; a bankroll. (see also tight wad.) I lost my wad on a rotten horse in the seventh race.
2. n. a gob of semen. He called the wad a cumquat and thought he’d made a joke.

shoot (one's) wad

1. Slang
a. To spend all of one's cash.
b. To use up all of one's energy or resources.
2. Vulgar Slang To ejaculate.
See also: shoot, wad
References in classic literature ?
And Gerda stretched out her hands with the large wadded gloves towards the robber maiden, and said, "Farewell
How her heart beat as Joseph appeared-- Joseph, puffing from the staircase in shining creaking boots-- Joseph, in a new waistcoat, red with heat and nervousness, and blushing behind his wadded neckcloth.
Against the other wall stood a big bed, very clean and covered with a silk patchwork wadded quilt.
The system is compatible with 23/4- or 3-inch wadded shot shells and rifled slugs.
After the murders, investigators found a towel wadded up in the sink of the master bathroom with a drop of the defendant's blood on it,'' Hopkins said.
His most recent works--the "Byzantin Neo-Platonic Rectangles," 1986-93, which are largely abstract, though they ofte incorporate faux jewels in delightful arrangements made of plastic wrap wadded and "set" in foil--continue to conjure up the sensuousness of many Medieval devotional objects, as well as the splendor of Byzantine icons.