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Give it your best shot

Posted by ESC on October 24, 2008 at 15:32

In Reply to: Give it your best shot posted by John on October 23, 2008 at 10:27:

: Does anyone know the origin of "Give it your best shot"?

Haven't found anything definitive. William Safire is quoted in one reference as saying it might have a military origin -- "best shot" meaning, in the 16th century, the shooter who could hit enemy/target most accurately. But "shot" meant "try" from the mid-18th century on, "casting some doubt" on this theory and others involving billiards and boxing. It became a common phrase in the 20th century. "Facts on File Dictionary of Cliches," second edition, edited by Christine Ammer, Checkmark Books, New York, 2006. Page 168.