take a pot shot

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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