Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 19:21:03 -0500

From: Gerald Cohen gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UMR.EDU

Subject: "give it your best shot"

A resident of my city recently asked me about the expression "give it

your best shot." He is aware that it is usually associated with pugilism

but wonders if it might have originated in artillery.

He points out that artillerymen have a rule to try their best on the

first shot. If the first shot misses, the second shot is not necessarily

intended to hit the target; if the first shot is long, the second one must

be short, and vice versa. The purpose of the second shot is to get a

mesurement. The third shot _is_ intended to be on target.

So, when an artilleryman takes his first shot, he "gives it his best

shot." Might this expression then have been picked up in puglism, with the

possibly original connection to artillery soon lost?

Is anyone familiar with artillery and able to confirm or refute the

above suggestion?

--Gerald Cohen