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Shot glasses were invented in the United States a very long time ago. Some people are not very aware of where did they actually started, however, it is said that it was considered to be a measurement in the taverns to have competitions as to how much alcohol you could consume in one shot.
Also there is the idea that a shot glass can be small or it can also be of large size, however, this may not be the case if you are thinking of the name behind the meaning of the glass. A shot, like an injection is supposed to mean something small.
Now, another thing that the shot glasses are used for very often is as a souvenir or as a favor. Wedding shot glasses are very common and many people love to collect those ones that come in all kinds of color combinations. A shot glass normally has a heavy bottom and that bottom can be painted in a bright color to give it a very exceptional look.
There are many glass collectors that love the look of a shot glass and if you are lucky enough to attend many weddings a year, then perhaps you can become a collector yourself.