Sen. Orrin Hatch sent social media into a flurry on Monday morning when he used a colorful phrase to describe the Republican-controlled Congress’ failure to pass legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
In an article from Politico, Hatch said, “We’re not going back to health care. We’re in tax now. As far as I’m concerned, they shot their wad on health care and that’s the way it is. I’m sick of it.”
While most social media users jumped on Hatch’s turn of phrase claiming it had a sexual connotation, Hatch’s office took to Twitter to defend his use of “shot their wad,” claiming it had origins in the Civil War.
As few of you were alive during the Civil War, here’s a valuable jargon lesson on “wads” and the shooting of them. https://t.co/dOYvcfgImO pic.twitter.com/wk9aaNb3s2
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 7, 2017
The Hill notes that the phrase in question has a few other meanings.
While the phrase Hatch used has taken on a sexual connotation, it also has meanings that are far from blue comedian material.
The Oxford dictionary’s definition of the phrase is that it means someone has spent all of their money.
Hatch’s Civil War reference is a nod to the definition of “wad” described by Merriam-Webster as “a soft plug used to retain a powder charge or to avoid windage especially in a muzzle-loading gun.”