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Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally



I learned a word today: "body shot." It appears in a short story titled "Christie" by Caitlin Macy in a recent issue of the New Yorker:
You could pick on Christie for trying too hard, you could note the moment when Mr. Thorn took off his tuxedo jacket and started doing body shots with the bridesmaids, but you didn't pick on the groom's looks. You just didn't go there.
There are many hits for the term on the Web and a movie of the same name came out in 1999, but I didn't find any explanations of the meaning until I came across this:
In December a woman was allegedly burned after a "body shot" drinking game went wrong. A police report opposing a special Christmas Day licence said that incident included a bartender. During a body shot, liquor was poured over a customer's stomach and someone had to lick it off. The woman briefly caught fire and needed medical treatment. (The Southland Times (New Zealand), 04-11-2001)
"Body shot" was not in any of the dictionaries I checked.
(March 13, 2003)