shoo-fly (interj.) Look up shoo-fly at
admonition to a pest, by 1867 (in baseball slang), from shoo (v.) + fly (n.). Popularized by a Dan Bryant minstrel song c. 1870, which launched it as a catch-phrase that, according to H.L. Mencken, "afflicted the American people for at least two years." Shoo-fly pie is attested from 1935.
shoo-in (n.) Look up shoo-in at
"easy winner" (especially in politics), 1939, from earlier sense "horse that wins a race by pre-arrangement" (1928); the verb phrase shoo in in this sense is from 1908; from shoo (v.) + in (adv.).
shook (adj.) Look up shook at
"disturbed," 1891, past participle adjective from shake (v.). Shook up "excited" is 1897 slang, revived 1957 by Elvis Presley.
shoot (n.1) Look up shoot at
"young branch of a tree or plant," mid-15c., from shoot (v.). Also "heavy, sudden rush of water" (1610s); "artificial channel for water running down" (1707); "conduit for coal, etc." (1844).
shoot (v.) Look up shoot at
Old English sceotan "to hurl missiles, cast; strike, hit, push; run, rush; send forth swiftly; wound with missiles" (class II strong verb; past tense sceat, past participle scoten), from Proto-Germanic *skeutanan (source also of Old Saxon skiotan, Old Norse skjota "to shoot with (a weapon); shoot, launch, push, shove quickly," Old Frisian skiata, Middle Dutch skieten, Dutch schieten, Old High German skiozan, German schießen), from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, to chase, to throw, to project" (source also of Sanskrit skundate "hastens, makes haste," Old Church Slavonic iskydati "to throw out," Lithuanian skudrus "quick, nimble").

In reference to pool playing, from 1926. Meaning "to strive (for)" is from 1967, American English. Sense of "descend (a river) quickly" is from 1610s. Meaning "to inject by means of a hypodermic needle" is attested from 1914. Meaning "photograph" (especially a movie) is from 1890. As an interjection, an arbitrary euphemistic alteration of shit, it is recorded from 1934. Shoot the breeze "chat" first recorded 1941. Shoot-'em-up (adj.) in reference to violent entertainment (Western movies, etc.) is from 1942. Shoot to kill first attested 1867. Shoot the cat "to vomit" is from 1785. To shoot the moon originally meant "depart by night with ones goods to escape back rent" (1829).
O, 'tis cash makes such crowds to the gin shops roam,
And 'tis cash often causes a rumpus at home ;
'Tis when short of cash people oft shoot the moon ;
And 'tis cash always keeps our pipes in tune.
Cash! cash! &c.

["The Melodist and Mirthful Olio, An Elegant Collection of the Most Popular Songs," vol. IV, London, 1829]
shoot (n.2) Look up shoot at
1530s, "an act of shooting;" 1852 as "a shooting match or party," from shoot (v.).
shoot-out (n.) Look up shoot-out at
1953; expression shoot it out is from 1912; see shoot (v.) + out (adv.).
shooter (n.) Look up shooter at
Old English sceotere "one who shoots," agent noun from shoot (v.). As a type of gun from 1812; as a small alcoholic drink, 1971. Shootee is attested from 1837.
shooting (n.) Look up shooting at
Old English scotung, verbal noun from shoot (v.). Sports sense from 1885; film camera sense by 1920. Shooting gallery is from 1836; shooting match is from 1750. Shooting star first recorded 1590s (shoot (v.) with reference to meteors is from late 13c.).
shootist (n.) Look up shootist at
1864, from shoot (v.) + -ist.
shop (v.) Look up shop at
1680s, "to bring something to a shop, to expose for sale," from shop (n.). The meaning "to visit shops for the purpose of examining or purchasing goods" is first attested 1764. Related: Shopped; shopping. Shop around is from 1922. Shopping cart is recorded from 1956; shopping list first attested 1913; transferred and figurative use is from 1959.
shop (n.) Look up shop at
c. 1300, "booth or shed for trade or work," perhaps from Old English scoppa, a rare word of uncertain meaning, apparently related to scypen "cowshed," from Proto-Germanic *skoppan "small additional structure" (source also of Old High German scopf "building without walls, porch," German dialectal Scopf "porch, cart-shed, barn," German Schuppen "a shed"), from root *skupp-. Or the Middle English word was acquired from Old French eschoppe "booth, stall" (Modern French échoppe), which is a Germanic loan-word from the same root.

Meaning "building or room set aside for sale of merchandise" is from mid-14c. Meaning "schoolroom equipped for teaching vocational arts" is from 1914, American English. Sense of "matters pertaining to one's trade" is from 1814 (as in talk shop (v.), 1860).
shop-window (n.) Look up shop-window at
mid-15c., from shop (n.) + window (n.).
shop-worn (adj.) Look up shop-worn at
"shabby from handling while on display," 1838, from shop (n.) + worn (adj.).
shopaholic (n.) Look up shopaholic at
1984, from shop (v.) + -aholic.
shopkeeper (n.) Look up shopkeeper at
1520s, from shop (n.) + keeper.
shoplift (v.) Look up shoplift at
also shop-lift, 1820, back-formation from shoplifting. Related: Shop-lifted.
shoplifter (n.) Look up shoplifter at
1670s, from shop (n.) + agent noun of lift (v.). Also in same sense shop-lift (1670s); shop-thief.
shoplifting (n.) Look up shoplifting at
1690s, "stealing of goods from a shop;" see shoplifter.
shoppe (n.) Look up shoppe at
one of several Middle English variations of shop (n.). It appears in Chaucer. Noted by 1918 as an antiquarian affectation in U.S. commercial establishments.
I admit that the name is against it. As a matter of fact, 732 Eighth Avenue is nothing more nor less than a good old-fashioned midnight lunch-room camouflaged by a flossy title. [Helen Worden Erskine, "The Real New York," 1933]
shopper (n.) Look up shopper at
agent noun from shop (v.).
shopping (n.) Look up shopping at
1764, "act or practice of visiting shops," verbal noun from shop (v.). Meaning "goods that have been purchased" is from 1934. Shopping bag attested from 1886; shopping list from 1913.
shore (n.) Look up shore at
"land bordering a large body of water," c. 1300, from an Old English word or from Middle Low German schor "shore, coast, headland," or Middle Dutch scorre "land washed by the sea," all probably from Proto-Germanic *skur-o- "cut," from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)).

According to etymologists originally with a sense of "division" between land and water. But if the word began on the North Sea coast of the continent, it might as well have meant originally "land 'cut off' from the mainland by tidal marshes" (compare Old Norse skerg "an isolated rock in the sea," related to sker "to cut, shear"). Old English words for "coast, shore" were strand (n.), waroþ, ofer. Few Indo-European languages have such a single comprehensive word for "land bordering water" (Homer uses one word for sandy beaches, another for rocky headlands). General application to "country near a seacoast" is attested from 1610s.
shore (v.) Look up shore at
mid-14c., "to prop, support with a prop;" of obscure etymology though widespread in Germanic (Middle Dutch schooren "to prop up, support," Old Norse skorða (n.) "a piece of timber set up as a support"). Related: Shored; shoring. Also as a noun, "post or beam for temporary support of something" (mid-15c.), especially an oblique timber to brace the side of a building or excavation.
shoreline (n.) Look up shoreline at
also shore-line, 1852 in the geographical sense, from shore (n.) + line (n.).
shorn (adj.) Look up shorn at
"shaven," late Old English scoren, past participle adjective from shear (v.).
short (n.) Look up short at
1580s, the short "the result, the total," from short (adj.). Meaning "electrical short circuit" first recorded 1906 (see short circuit). Meaning "contraction of a name or phrase" is from 1873 (as in for short). Slang meaning "car" is attested from 1897; originally "street car," so called because street cars (or the rides taken in them) were "shorter" than railroad cars.
short (adj.) Look up short at
Old English sceort, scort "short, not long, not tall; brief," probably from Proto-Germanic *skurta- (source also of Old Norse skorta "to be short of," skort "shortness;" Old High German scurz "short"), from PIE root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut," with notion of "something cut off" (source also of Sanskrit krdhuh "shortened, maimed, small;" Latin curtus "short," cordus "late-born," originally "stunted in growth;" Old Church Slavonic kratuku, Russian korotkij "short;" Lithuanian skurstu "to be stunted," skardus "steep;" Old Irish cert "small," Middle Irish corr "stunted, dwarfish").

Meaning "having an insufficient quantity" is from 1690s. Meaning "rude" is attested from late 14c. Meaning "easily provoked" is from 1590s; perhaps the notion is of being "not long in tolerating." Short fuse in figurative sense of "quick temper" first attested 1968. To fall short is from archery. Short run "relatively brief period of time" is from 1879. Short story first recorded 1877. To make short work of "dispose of quickly" is first attested 1570s. Phrase short and sweet is from 1530s. To be short by the knees (1733) was to be kneeling; to be short by the head (1540s) was to be beheaded.
short (v.) Look up short at
Old English sceortian "to grow short, become short; run short, fail," from the source of short (adj.). Transitive meaning "make short" is from late 12c. Meaning "to short-circuit" is by 1904. Related: Shorted; shorting.
short circuit (n.) Look up short circuit at
also short-circuit, 1854, in electricity, from short (adj.) + circuit (n.). As a verb, introduce a shunt of low resistance," from 1867; intransitive sense from 1902; in the figurative sense is recorded by 1899. Related: short-circuited; short-circuiting.
short-change (v.) Look up short-change at
also shortchange, "to cheat by giving too little change to," 1903, from adjectival expression short-change (with man, trick, etc.), 1901, from short (adj.) + change (n.).
short-handed (adj.) Look up short-handed at
"having too few 'hands,'" 1794, from short (adj.) + -handed. The ice hockey sense is attested from 1939.
short-lived (adj.) Look up short-lived at
1580s, from short (adj.) + past tense of live (v.).
short-order (adj.) Look up short-order at
of restaurants, from 1897, from adverbial expression in short order "rapidly, with no fuss," from short (adj.) + order (n.).
short-sighted (adj.) Look up short-sighted at
also shortsighted, 1640s, of eyesight, "myopic;" 1620s in the sense "lacking foresight;" see short (adj.) + sight (n.). Related: Shortsightedly; shortsightedness.
short-sleeve (n.) Look up short-sleeve at
1630s, from short (adj.) + sleeve. First recorded in an ordinance of Massachusetts Bay colony, forbidding "short sleeves, whereby the nakedness of the arme may be discovered."
short-term (adj.) Look up short-term at
1901, from short (adj.) + term (n.).
short-timer (n.) Look up short-timer at
"one whose term or enlistment is about to expire," 1906, from short (adj.) + time (n.) + agent noun ending -er (1).
short-wave (adj.) Look up short-wave at
in reference to radio wavelength less than c.100 meters, 1907, from short (adj.) + wave (n.).
shortage (n.) Look up shortage at
1862, American English, from short + -age.
shortbread (n.) Look up shortbread at
also short-bread, 1755, from short (see shortening) + bread (n.).
shortcake (n.) Look up shortcake at
also short-cake, 1590s, from short (see shortening) + cake (n.).
shortcoming (n.) Look up shortcoming at
1670s, from the phrase to come short "be inadequate" (1570s); see short (adj.). Related: Shortcomings.
shortcut (n.) Look up shortcut at
also short-cut, "path not as long as the ordinary way," 1610s, from short (adj.) + cut (n.). Figurative use is attested earlier (1580s).
shorten (v.) Look up shorten at
1510s, "make shorter;" 1560s, "grow shorter," from short (adj.) + -en (1); the earlier form of the verb was simply short, from Old English sceortian "to grow short, become short; run short, fail," gescyrtan "to make short."
shortening (n.) Look up shortening at
1540s, "action of making short," verbal noun from shorten. Meaning "butter or other fat used in baking" (1796) is from shorten in the sense "make crumbly" (1733), from short (adj.) in the secondary sense of "easily crumbled" (early 15c.), which perhaps arose via the notion of "having short fibers." This is the short in shortbread and shortcake.
shortfall (n.) Look up shortfall at
also short-fall, 1895; see short (adj.) + fall (v.).
shorthand (n.) Look up shorthand at
method of rapid writing, 1636, from short (adj.) in the "rapid" sense + hand (n.) "handwriting."
shortlist (v.) Look up shortlist at
"to place (someone) on the 'short list' " for advancement or preferment, 1955, from short list (n.) in this sense, which is attested by 1927.
shortly (adv.) Look up shortly at
Old English scortlice "briefly," also, in late Old English, "in short time;" from short (adj.) + -ly (2).