[Ads-l] "shot" = 'hypodermic injection' (1889)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 17 14:21:30 EST 2021


A recent Washington Post column by John Kelly discusses OED researcher Jon
Simon's hunt for antedatings for "shot" in the sense of 'hypodermic
injection' (OED2 1904).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/needle-shot-morphine-addiction/2021/02/15/288282d2-6fa8-11eb-93be-c10813e358a2_story.html

The earliest citation mentioned in the column is this one from 1889.

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https://www.newspapers.com/clip/71304687/the-hypo-gun/
San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 2, 1889, p. 5, col. 8
The Hypo-Gun. How Morphine Victims Are Fed
The morphine victim is cared for there -- as long as he has money. In all
the houses frequented by the "fiends" is a man or a woman who sells the
drug and injects it for a small sum. This useful person is called the
"gunner," the syringe is termed the "gun," and administers to the fiend an
injection, that is "a shot," for which he is paid 5 cents.
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--bgz

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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