Posted by Bob on October 27, 2006
In Reply to: "Controlling shot" posted by Victoria S Dennis on October 26, 2006
: : : : : : : English equivalent to "controlling shot".
: : : : : : : Russian hired killers nowadays practice a last shot to the apparently dead victim's head at a close distance to make sure there is no escape. They call it "control shot" or "controlling shot" and these terms have already been accepted by English-speaking meadia. Is there an English original equivalent to this expression?
: : : : : : : Thank you.
: : : : : : It resembles the "coup de grâce" in that it is a final shot designed to make sure the subject is dead. However, the purpose of the "coup de grâce" is to end the victim's suffering, that of the "controlling shot" just to make sure he's dead. On television they describe it mostly in longhand, saying things like "just to make sure." On the other hand, someone with gangster connections may come along and give us the right technical term.
: : : : : : SS
: : : : : While we wait for a helpful gangster to come along, I'll just say that we often hear this type of shooting described on the news as "execution style".
: : : : : I wonder if a helpful hunter or James Bond afficionado might also be able to shed some light on the subject.
: : : : Thank you. I know the meaning of "coup de grace" which in my opinion is more or less matched by the English "mercy killing", but a control or controlling shot is a totally different thing - no mercy, just a cold-blood reckon. By the way, nowadays the term "control shot" is no more a gangsters' one in Russia: law-enforcement agencies servicemen have picked up it and use as an official term. Thanks to mass media this term is now known to all common people and regretfully has almost become a part of a current colloquial Russian language.
: : :
: : : I realise this isn't going to be much use to Valeriy, but there is a precise equivalent in the Lowland Scots language. On a famous occasion Robert the Bruce met another Scottish nobleman, the Red Comyn, in a church; they quarrelled and the Bruce drew his sword and gravely wounded him. Leaving the church he met a friend, Roger Kirkpatrick, and said "I doubt I have slain the Comyn", to which Kirkpatrick replied, "Will you leave such a matter in doubt? I will mak sikker (=make sure)", went into the church and stabbed the Comyn to death. Ever since, the phrase "mak sikker" has been used in Scots to mean "finish off a wounded person". (VSD)
: : Thank you, Victoria. It's really informative. Is this expressen frequently used and understandable to any Briton? I would like to find an expression which would not require additional explanations.
: It would be understandable to all Scots, and many English, but I'm nor confident it would be understandable to all.
I would nominate "killshot," a word no dictionary recognizes (yet) but is clear and understandable. It's a variation of "kill shot" from racquet sports, the perfectly placed unreturnable shot. In the murderous context of which we speak, it is also the title of one of Elmore Leonard's best crime novels. Highly recommended for the uncomfortable shock of getting inside a killer's mentality and saying to yourself "of course he has to kill him." Leonard skillfully takes you into the logic of the sociopath.