potshot


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pot shot

1. 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, an unfair or opportunistic insult or criticism, especially one directed at someone who is vulnerable. 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. 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 cheap, unfair, or opportunistic insult or criticism at someone, especially someone who is vulnerable. 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 construction of what was to become RAAF Learmonth air base was to be a long-lived saga of 'bureaucracies in action' that lasted well beyond the time frame of this account of Potshot. To begin with the terrain was inhospitable, being low sand dunes 15 feet high (5 m) intersected by numerous washaways that were beholden to the prevailing winds all through the year and torrential rains during the 'cyclone season'.
"It is disgusting to think that someone would take potshots at them," said Inspector Heaton.
' ' Taking potshots at Lalu Rudy said caste- based' of the RJD chief was outdated
However, considering the first series of this TV quiz was, by his own admission, a chance to take potshots at the week's TV, you can understand why the game show element wasn't the most important thing on his mind.
You might recall that earlier this year Verizon sued Alltel in federal court regarding one of its My Circle marketing potshots.
The couple took turns to take potshots at the girl on a towpath and then, back at home, Oliver shot the teenager again as she was bathing her wounds.
An increasingly erratic Bruce takes potshots at Tony, Dom tries it on with Belle and Lisa's meddling causes nothing but trouble.
Here, around 16 years ago, Zvi Hecker also built his famous Spiral apartment block (AR October 1990), an ebullient architectural bricolage, notable for the anecdote that Hecker (allegedly) took potshots at the building during construction (he lived across the street from the site), when he considered workmanship standards below par.
The robber noticed Joshua and took several potshots at him as he fled, prompting Joshua to shoot back.
As usual, Fforde does a lot of playing around, not only using the well-known murder and mayhem involving nursery rhyme and folktale characters as plot fodder, but also taking potshots at detective fiction and detectives (Miss Maple, Inspector Dogleash, etc.).
If you purchase the game now you will discover that you are never at a lack for words when your colleagues are taking verbal potshots at their brokers.
Whatever one may think of refuse collectors or binmen, there is no excuse for taking potshots at them with an airgun or using shovels or fists as weapons against them.
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.
The sniping has already begun with HP taking potshots at storage developers EMC, Veritas and IBM.
It has to be said that the series of potshots Young takes at selected critics, and the simplifications the brevity of his piece necessitates, do not cohere into the demolition job he clearly hopes to achieve.