Parting shot

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The idiom parting shot, like most idioms, is derived from a literal meaning of the phrase. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of parting shot, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A parting shot is a cutting remark made at the point of departing a scene or area. The idea is to deliver a retort without giving the recipient a chance for rebuttal. The term parting shot, used in a figurative sense, can be traced to the 1820s. Before this time, parting shot described a salvo launched by a fighting unit as it departed the field of battle. The plural form of parting shot is parting shots. The idea of delivering a cutting remark at the point of departing a scene goes back to the 1600s, and at that time was described as delivering a parting blow.


The top ethics watchdog in the federal government announced his resignation on Thursday, taking a parting shot at Donald Trump as he did so.  (The Guardian)

Spicer took a parting shot at reporters during that Fox News interview, saying he became “increasingly disappointed in how so many members of the media here do their job, or rather don’t do their job.” (The Business Insider)

Westlund delivered a parting shot in the interview, “wishing” Freeze “nothing but the best as he seeks to further his coaching career at some community college in the Pacific Northwest.” (The Advocate)

Departing Highlanders coach Tony Brown has fired a parting shot at Super Rugby officials in the wake of his team’s quarterfinal loss to the Crusaders on Saturday night. (The Timaru Herald)