Means take a shot at something as a try...not a well concieved shot or plan of action but your best shot right then and there on the subject. Your best guess without knowing a course of action ect. or having any pre planned skill. So its like saying take your best guess.
Or taking a cheap shot verbally at someone. Saying something negative against someone by surprise when they dont expect it and can not defend against it. Like a "cheap shot"
It can also mean to take an easy shot physically at something. Like to hit someone that is no challenge to you but would be standing down letting you hit them. So hiting a man that tells you he wont hit back but is letting you take a free hit without him defending himself. Or in hunting an easy shot at an animal that doesnt require any special skills because the animal was an easy shot.
A shot taken at an easy or casual target (re hunting) , or criticism aimed at an easy target and made without careful consideration; "reporters took potshots at the mayor."
Its etymology is that a "pot shot" was one taken at game merely for the purpose of filling the pot for a meal rather than for sport or trophy mounts.
I am having a devil of a time figuring out how to say this. I guess the easiest way is to tell you it is from a game. if you ever go to a carnival and try to throw a ball into a milk can or the ring toss you will be getting a good example. farm hands would sit about and try to throw a ball or some other object into a pot or some other small container from varieous disances. Object was to get more in than anyone else. when you take a pot shot you are trying to accomplish something that others have tried, and possibly failed. You aren't actaully trying to do so for gain, just for the fact that you want to try it and see how you do.
An easy slam, where fact isn't necessarily an issue:
Bush is the worst president EVER
Making jokes about Cheney shooting his friend in the face
Tom Cruise is Gay
that kind of thing...
Pot shot \Pot shot\
Lit., a shot fired simply to fill the pot; hence, a shot
fired at an animal or person when at rest or within easy
range, or fired simply to kill, without reference to the
rules of sport; a shot needling no special skill.
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