shack

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Some authorities derive this word from Nahuatl xacalli (adobe hut)[1], but other authorities consider this phonologically impossible and relate the word instead to ramshackle.[2]

Noun[edit]

shack (plural shacks)

  1. A crude, roughly built hut or cabin.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 6, Lord Stranleigh Abroad[1]:
      The men resided in a huge bunk house, which consisted of one room only, with a shack outside where the cooking was done. In the large room were a dozen bunks ; half of them in a very dishevelled state, […]
  2. Any unpleasant, poorly constructed or poorly furnished building.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

shack (third-person singular simple present shacks, present participle shacking, simple past and past participle shacked)

  1. To live in or with; to shack up.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Obsolete variant of shake. Compare Scots shag (refuse of barley or oats).

Noun[edit]

shack (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) Grain fallen to the ground and left after harvest.
  2. (obsolete) Nuts which have fallen to the ground.
  3. (obsolete) Freedom to pasturage in order to feed upon shack.
    • 1918, Christobel Mary Hoare Hood, The History of an East Anglian Soke [2]
      [...] first comes the case of tenants with a customary right to shack their sheep and cattle who have overburdened the fields with a larger number of beasts than their tenement entitles them to, or who have allowed their beasts to feed in the field out of shack time.
    • 1996, J M Neeson, Commoners [3]
      The fields were enclosed by Act in 1791, and Tharp gave the cottagers about thirteen acres for their right of shack.
  4. (UK, US, dialect, obsolete) A shiftless fellow; a low, itinerant beggar; a vagabond; a tramp.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Forby to this entry?)
    • Henry Ward Beecher
      All the poor old shacks about the town found a friend in Deacon Marble.
Derived terms[edit]

Verb[edit]

shack (third-person singular simple present shacks, present participle shacking, simple past and past participle shacked)

  1. (obsolete) To shed or fall, as corn or grain at harvest.
  2. (obsolete) To feed in stubble, or upon waste.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Grose to this entry?)
    • 1918, Christobel Mary Hoare Hood, The History of an East Anglian Soke [4]
      [] first comes the case of tenants with a customary right to shack their sheep and cattle who have overburdened the fields with a larger number of beasts than their tenement entitles them to, or who have allowed their beasts to feed in the field out of shack time.
  3. (UK, dialect) To wander as a vagabond or tramp.

Anagrams[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ shack” in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.
  2. ^ shack” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.