- obsoletean indication of illegitimacyLiterally, ancillary. A by(e)-blow, -chap-, -scape, etc. indicated illegitimate birth of one who was by(e)-come, -begot, etc.:I really was a niece of a one-time Governor and not some by-blow of Lili Chatterjee's family. (P. Scott, 1973)By(e)-courting, by a male, was done deceitfully without any intention of marriage:Bitterly did I regret I had done my by courtings so near home. (Crockett, 1896)In Scotland a by(e)-shot was an elderly unmarried woman, not always as a result of Cupid's bad marksmanship:If she cannot restrain her loquacity, she is in danger of hearing the reproach of a byshot. (Tarras, 1804)
How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. R. W. Holder. 2014.