pot shot

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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

potshot

n. a sharp criticism; a wild shot of criticism. (Usually with take.) Please stop taking potshots at me!
References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Jackson denied telling anybody to kick the Iraqis or taking the potshots.
Said warns us of simplistic approaches to the "Islams" and particularly of Bernard Lewis's book What Went Wrong?--"a debased effort to push unsuspecting readers toward thinking of `Islam' as something to judge harshly, to dislike, and therefore to be on guard against." Davenport uses a purported review of Terryl Givens's By the Hand of Mormon as a platform from which to take misinformed potshots at Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price, and (by association) members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
These blind spots make Miller's screed as easy to dismiss as Sorkin's potshots. National Review's Jonah Goldberg is most likely right when he says that Sorkin would regard Bush as a dummy even if he "had an I.Q.
Separately, the May 2000 issue of U.S.-based National Geographic magazine took potshots at the nickel mining industry in New Caledonia.
Jan Morrison took the next potshots. "You've got it completely backward in America," he said.
Officers say someone could be maimed by youths taking potshots at people who unwittingly cross their line of fire.
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.) In his 1983 film Videodrome, David Cronenberg accurately presaged this development with his Marshall McLuhan-based character Professor Brian O'Blivion, who only agrees to appear "on TV on TV." Today, it is not unusual to see a "how-to" ad one week and the same spot a week later "on TV on TV," in the virtual living room of a follow-up spot, with the "family" nodding and demonstrating the making of an order.
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.
Wattenburg takes a few potshots at "scare-mongering" environmentalists and "poor-mouthing" liberals, but his real target is the media.
Summary: New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi on Tuesday hit out at Congress MP Karti Chidambaram for taking potshots at the BJP over the number of its MPs in the Lok Sabha saying "303 is a mandate to allow the progress of the country and to control terrorist activities".
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.
This goodie from 1982 is memorable science fiction from the tense and exciting moment when a helicopter is pursuing a fleeing dog and potshots are being taken at the fleeing beast.