: a bore tolerated only because he or she pays the shot
Did You Know?
The shot in shot-clog refers to a charge to be paid. It's a cousin to, and synonymous with, scot, a word likely only familiar to modern speakers in the term scot-free, meaning "completely free from obligation, harm, or penalty." The origin of the clog part of shot-clog is less clear. Perhaps it's meant to draw a parallel between a substance that impedes a pipe's flow and a person who impedes a good time; or perhaps companions' tabs accumulate before the shot-clog as so much dross in a clogged pipe, while the shot-clog yammers on unawares. The 17th-century playwright Ben Jonson was particularly fond of shot-clog, and while the word is no longer in regular use, it might work for you as a suitable old-time insult for that person in your party who is fine to have around so long as they pick up the tab.
I'd planned to reimburse Jerry for the meal via PayPal, but after sitting through a lengthy evening of him holding forth on myriad topics, I decided it would be an unfair challenge to his reputation as a shot-clog.
"Alas! I behold thee with pity, not with anger: thou common shot-clog, gull of all companies; methinks I see thee walking in Moorfields without a cloak, with half a hat … borrowing and begging threepence." — John Marston, Ben Jonson, and George Chapman, Eastward Ho!, 1605
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