or bull shot

[boo l-shot]

What does bullshot mean?

If bullshot sounds like a play on bullshit, that's because it is. Bullshot is the name of a cocktail made with vodka, beef bouillon, and Worcester sauce. Bottoms...up? For you marketing-wary gamers out there, Bullshot is also a term for a screenshot of a video game doctored for promotional purposes.

Examples of bullshot


Examples of bullshot
...I was very disappointed when I discovered the bullshot cocktail ISN'T fake.
@AllusionistShow, March 2015
Is @Twitter seriously suspending accounts for ducking swearing? That’s a bunch of bullshot.
@EmeryDodge, March 2018
Handheld titles would need a lot more work done on their jagged edges and low-res textures, for example, while bullshots for HD console games were more about adding effects and swapping out game textures with those lifted from photos.
Luke Plunkett, Kotaku, February 2016

Where does bullshot come from?

Hour Detroit

We aren’t bullshitting you, the bullshot cocktail is a real thing. According to a 2011 article in Edible Manhattan, the bullshot was developed around 1952 at the Caucus Club, a famous Detroit restaurant. It’s essentially a Bloody Mary that uses beef bouillon or consommé instead of tomato juice. Bull plays on its beef broth and shot, its alcohol. Together, of course, they play on bullshit.

By 1957, the bullshot had become trendy because of its vitamins, apparently. It remained popular until the 1970s and can still be found at some old-school steakhouses that cater to a crowd of a certain age, shall we say. The bullshot has always raised some eyebrows, however. Marilyn Monroe is famously said of the cocktail: “What a horrible thing to do to vodka.”

Cocktail Hunter

In contemporary internet slang, a bullshot refers to misleading screenshots released by video game companies to make their games look better. The word, here, is a blend of bullshit and screenshot. The term is said to have originated in the online gamer community Penny Arcade in 2005. These bullshots are manipulated in various ways, including with Photoshop, to make them “pop just a little more,” as PC Gamer put it in 2016.

My Gaming


Who uses bullshot?

The bullshot cocktail (sometimes written as bull shot) lives on as a specialty cocktail. It remains particularly associated with the city of Detroit, where it was invented, but it can also be found as far away as Berlin, Germany. With the new focus on the health benefits of broth, the bullshot experienced something of a comeback in the 2010s.

Within the gamer community, calling a screenshot of a game a bullshot is an insult, and rightly so. Gamers will—oh, they will—notice if a screenshot features, say, character who doesn’t exist in the game, the resolution seems too good to be true, or the lighting is jus a bit off. Essentially, bullshot calls out marketing materials that don’t present in-game graphics accurately.


In addition to these uses of bullshot, there is also an English play satirizing the character Bulldog Drummond (a kind of WWI-era proto-James Bond type) called Bullshot Crummond, first performed in 1974. It was later made into a movie simply called Bullshot (1983).

And, of course, Bullshot is also sometimes used as a euphemistic misspelling of bullshit.

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