Posted by Smokey Stover on December 17, 2006
In Reply to: "To get shot (or shut) of" posted by Jean on December 17, 2006
: What is the origin of the phrase "to get shot (or shut) of" a thing. I know it means to get rid of, and it is an old expression. Thanks.
To get shut of something does seem to be a rather old expression, and more a dialectal than a mainstream one, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which I quote with all its citations. This may not be precisely the answer you desire, but I think it's the best you'll find.
" 11. a. To set (a person) free from, relieve of (something troublesome). Obs[olete] exc[ept] in passive (dial. and colloq.) to be, get shut of, (dial.) shut on, to shut one's hands of: to be rid of, free from; also ellipt[ical].
?a1500 Chester Pl. II. 31 Though he have healed thee, Shute from us shall he not be. Ibid. 33 To shutte hym of his dangere. 1575-6 Durham Depos. (Surtees) 312 This examinate promised..that he wold marye the said Grace..so that he might be shutt of the promises he hadd maid to one Marian Raic. 1596 NASHE Saffron Walden To Rdr. D3, Doo what I can, I shall not be shut of him. 1621 CADE Serm. 45 He cannot be quiet till hee bee shut of it [his divell]. 1692 Scarronides II. Pref. 2 After his Taylor and Valet have shut their hands of him. 1737 WHISTON Josephus, Antiq. XIV. i. 3 His own life would be in danger, unless he..got shut of Aristobulus. 1827 J. F. COOPER Prairie xii, Happy will it prove for the boy if he is well shut of them. 1848 MRS. GASKELL Mary Barton I. v. 68 As for a bad man, one's glad enough to get shut on him. 1890 'R. BOLDREWOOD' Col. Reformer 223 Types which all cattleholders agree in desiring to 'get shut of'. 1892 STEVENSON & OSBOURNE Wrecker xxii, Your family pays money to be shut of you. 1914 D. H. LAWRENCE Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd III. 84 Who dost think wor goin' ter stop when we knowed 'e on'y kep on so's to get shut on us. 1976 S. BARSTOW Right True End I. iv. 65 'I haven't got her.' 'You're well shut, from all I hear.'"
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