phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Shot his wad

Posted by R. Berg on February 03, 2001

In Reply to: Shot his wad posted by ESC on February 03, 2001

: : : : : : need to know origin of this expression. Think it might be from the civil war period. Thanks.

: : : : : : im going out on a limb here, but I think it refers to muzzle loading rifles and how in the heat of battle as one is reloading, it was common to forget to drop a ball down the barrel before packing the wadding in. hence a wasted shot.

: : : : Here are some more possibilities. The Dictionary of American Slang gives two definitions for "wad": first, "a roll or wad of paper money . . . esp. a lot of it or all that one has," with citations of this use from 1814 through recent times; second, "the mouth. Some use c1885-c1920; obs." No entry for "shoot one's wad" as a phrase.

: : : Well, boys and girls. I don't want to rock you back on your heels, it may originally have mean guns and money but now "shooting your wad" refers to the male climax. And it's not a good idea to say it in Sunday School. I prefer "fire all your guns at once."

: : Golly gee whiz, Auntie ESC, what's a climax?

: A peak experience.

I was expecting to be told "Ask your mommy" or else "That place in the 1812 Overture where the music gets real loud." Seriously, though, has the meaning changed so that it's now unwise to say "He cashed his paycheck and shot (or blew) the whole wad on lottery tickets"?