a cheap shot

cheap shot

1. A physical blow struck against someone who is unready or unprepared. If often applies to sports in which physical contact is involved. Duane just punched Jimbo in the head while his back was turned. What a cheap shot! The boxer took a cheap shot against his opponent before the round started, and the referee halted the match.
2. By extension, a mean or unfair criticism. I didn't appreciate that cheap shot you took at me at the party. You made me look foolish in front of our friends.
See also: cheap, shot

a cheap shot

If you describe something critical that someone says as a cheap shot, you mean that it is unfair or unpleasant. It would be a cheap shot, of course, to say anything about his hair. The cartoon is a cheap shot that will draw a guilty chuckle from even the most sensitive reader.
See also: cheap, shot
References in periodicals archive ?
I think this study is a cheap shot by the union to try to push for more city assessor jobs."