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"This could be my shot" What does the word "shot" mean?

It sounds like "This could be my chance/opportunity". Is that right? And I wonder whether this sentence is too informal to use.

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  • Welcome to EL&A @Brenda! Can you give an example of when you heard this phrase? Otherwise we can't answer the question with any certainty. Jul 8, 2015 at 9:11
  • Context, context, context. Too informal for what? Jul 8, 2015 at 11:39
  • 1. Consider (and tell us, too) the broader context. 2. Look up a good dictionary for all the meanings of shot. Good Luck.
    – Kris
    Jul 8, 2015 at 11:40
  • Best guess, without some context, is "opportunity", as you suggest. It is nominally "informal", but I could see it being used in, eg, some sort of business proposal.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 8, 2015 at 11:49

2 Answers 2

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shot1 (TFD)

6. Informal
a. An attempt; a try: took a shot at losing weight.
b. An opportunity: gave him a fair shot at the part in the play.
c. A chance at odds; something to bet on: The horse was a four-to-one shot.

Consider especially the alternatives at (b), (c) to suit the context.

The usage is not overly informal for general use. See examples.

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  • I disagree 'give a shot' is perceived as an Americanism and; therefore, casual and informal in English.
    – t0rn
    Jul 8, 2015 at 11:56
  • @t0rn source? I never considered it an exclusive Americanism. And since when are Americanisms "therefore" casual and informal in "English"?
    – Kris
    Jul 8, 2015 at 11:59
  • GOP, this is your shot. Take it - or else Russ Romme on cincinnati.com cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/01/20/…
    – Kris
    Jul 8, 2015 at 12:06
  • Essentially, this is the first festival of its kind and we're thrilled to be helping make the dreams of Broadway and T.V.'s next generation of writers become realities. This is your shot. Lia Petridis Maiello on Huffington Post huffingtonpost.com/lia-petridis/…
    – Kris
    Jul 8, 2015 at 12:08
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    You can find many English phrases - relating back either to snooker/billiards where taking your shot is your turn, or taking ones shot in terms of marksmanship / duelling - especially in the early days of "gentlemanly" conflict (I'm thinking the Royal Navy & Marines). Certainly Lennox Lewis didn't mind taking his shot at the title, and it WAS referred to as such - even in the British sports media. Jul 8, 2015 at 13:08
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Indeed, it is being used to mean chance / opportunity - but it is very informal, conversational English

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  • 1
    Source? Please substantiate the statement or post it as a comment.
    – Kris
    Jul 8, 2015 at 11:39
  • Source being I am a native English speaker...merely thought they were looking for help with understanding a term, not countless sources or citations
    – user128193
    Jul 8, 2015 at 11:53
  • That would either make the question a GR or the "answer" a comment.
    – Kris
    Jul 8, 2015 at 11:56
  • Kris if people prefer your answer, so be it. There's no need to stifle helpful people...
    – t0rn
    Jul 8, 2015 at 11:58
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    Well, at least I 'gave it a shot'. Sometimes people just want help rather than confusing dictionary definitions.
    – user128193
    Jul 8, 2015 at 11:59

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