It's worth a shot

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on October 23, 2005

In Reply to: It's worth a shot posted by Marcus Sims on October 23, 2005

: Does anybody know the origin of the phrase "It's worth a shot"? As in - You might not succeed but you might as well try. I read it in a short story recently - it was said by a Frenchman which I found a little incongruous as I've always thought of it as American.

I've always assumed that the shot in question is a cartridge for one's gun, that "it" is a bird / rabbit / other potential dinner, and that the phrase means that the speaker judges that there is a good enough chance of hitting the target to make it worth the cost of the cartridge. (VSD)