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

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 17 14:30:15 EST 2021

Slightly earlier:

Sacramento Bee, Jan. 12, 1889, p. 5, col. 2
Rustling For a Shot.
The gang of miserables who have acquired the terrible habit often have a
hard time to get money enough to buy "a shot" as they call a morphine
injection. Ten cents is enough to buy "a shot" but even this trifle is
often beyond the reach of the most of them.

On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 2:21 PM Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.
> ---
> 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.
> ---
> --bgz

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