shoot with a silver gun


shoot with a silver gun
   obsolete
   to be unable to provide meat by hunting
   In those far-off days when a gentleman was supposed to keep the household supplied with fresh game birds in season by shooting them, and a lady was content to pluck, draw, hang, and cook them, it was thought demeaning if he had to go out and buy what he should have shot:
    Shooting with a silver gun is a saying among game eaters. That is to say, purchasing the game. (Cobbett, 1830)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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