chute » shoot

Classification: English – nearly mainstream

Spotted in the wild:

  • “Elliott, smushed to the edge and with the lowest height, will be the next Idolette to follow little Paris down the shoot. Nerves did him in during Tuesday’s opener…” (link)
  • “Cardboard is to be placed on the floor under the garbage shoot, not down the shoot or in the trash cans. Sleeping in the study lounges and in the computer …” (link)
  • “As you come down the shoot (about 50m long), you’ll find yourself zipping a long at a fast pace and the only eddy is on the right about half way down with …” (link)

“Chute” ’sloping channel or slide to convey things downward (often for disposal)’ is a homophone of “shoot”, and since things often shoot along down a chute, “shoot” is a natural replacement for the otherwise unmotivated “chute” — so natural, indeed, that the New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd ed.) lists it as an alternative to “chute”. The third citation, from a U.K. rivers site, probably shows some influence of the verb “shoot” in “shoot the rapids”.

This one’s not in the standard lists of often-confused words.

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2006/05/05 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Dan , 2006/06/05 at 9:16 pm

    Hmm…you could be right, but I’ve never seen anyone ever confuse “shoot” for “chute.” I find it hard to believe that it’s “nearly mainstream,” but I’m a mostly trusting person, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

  2. 2

    Commentary by Marnen Laibow-Koser , 2006/07/20 at 7:02 pm

    “Nearly mainstream”? Not as far as I can tell.

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