A shot in the arm

A shot in the arm means a stimulus, something that gives a person immediate energy or renewed enthusiasm. A shot in the arm is not a reference to a gunshot, it is derived from the American slang term for an injection, the word shot.  A shot in the arm is a metaphor that refers to the rejuvenating effect from an injection of vitamins, narcotics or other drugs, first used in America around 1916. Today, the American idiom a shot in the arm is increasingly used around the world.


“I think the U-turn will be a shot in the arm to campaign for more changes.” (The Daily Mail)

For the regional organizations whose bread and butter are touring Broadway shows, a smash like “Hamilton” provides a shot in the arm to the subscriptions that sustain them. (Variety)

Turnbull’s excitable rhetoric about Australia’s transition to the 21st century economy, which had been sounding a little tired, was delivered a shot in the arm less than a fortnight before he is expected to call an election. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

India’s outlook was given a shot in the arm in 2014 after Narendra Modi, the country’s reform-minded prime minister, took office. (The National)

The U.S. stock market could get a shot in the arm next week as consumer-facing companies report earnings in a season in which the sector has so far been the overachiever. (The Business Insider)

The change in stance came as a shot in the arm for Oli who later announced in Parliament that “what happened today was designed in Nepal”, a dig at the Nepali Congress and Madhesi Morcha move to “wreck the government”. (The Indian Express)

The surprise win of Jonathan Sri in the Gabba Ward at the local council elections has given the Greens party a shot in the arm of energy. (The Brisbane Times)

Enjoyed reading about this idiom? Check out some others we covered:

Help Us Improve!

Help Us Improve!

- Did we make a mistake?
- Do you have feedback or suggestions on how we can improve?

press Enter

Use Shift+Tab to go back