of a fish, "having shot its spawn," and accordingly of inferior value, early 15c., past-participle adjective from shoot (v.). Applied to persons, with sense of "exhausted by sickness," from 1590s. Also sometimes used of curdled milk.
Go thy ways, old Jack; die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a shotten herring. There live not three good men unhanged in England ; and one of them is fat, and grows old. God help the while! a bad world, I say. [Falstaff, in "1 Henry IV"]
"article of food," early 14c., from Anglo-French viaunde, Old French viande "food (vegetable as well as animal), victuals, provisions" (11c.), a dissimilation of Vulgar Latin *vivanda, from Late Latin vivenda "things for living, things to be lived upon," in classical Latin, "be live," neuter plural gerundive of vivere "to live" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live"). The French word later was restricted to fresh meat.
"pertaining to animal life," 1863, from Greek zoikos, from zoion "animal," from PIE root *gwei- "to live."
"in the process of becoming dead, decaying from life," mid-15c., present-participle adjective from die (v.).