From Middle English schanke, from Old English sċeanca, scanca, from Proto-Germanic *skankô (compare West Frisian skonk, Low German Schanke, German Schenkel (“shank, leg”), Norwegian skank), from *skankaz (compare Old Norse skakkr (“wry, crooked”)), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)keng- (compare Middle Irish scingim (“I spring”), Ancient Greek σκάζω (skázō, “to limp”).
shank (plural shanks)
- The part of the leg between the knee and the ankle.
- 1599, William Shakespeare, As you like it:
- His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide / For his shrunk shank […] (II.7)
- Meat from that part of an animal.
- (ornithology, colloquial) A redshank or greenshank, various species of Old World wading birds in the genus Tringa having distinctly colored legs.
- A straight, narrow part of an object, such as a key or an anchor; shaft; stem.
- The handle of a pair of shears, connecting the ride to the neck.
- The center part of a fishhook between the eye and the hook, the 'hook' being the curved part that bends toward the point.
- A protruding part of an object, by which it is or can be attached.
- The metal part on a curb bit that falls below the mouthpiece, which length controls the severity of the leverage action of the bit, and to which the reins of the bridle are attached.
- (sports) A poorly played golf shot in which the ball is struck by the part of the club head that connects to the shaft.
- 1953, Arnold Gingrich, The Esquire Treasury:
- To a good golfer a shank is disgracefuller than being dead drunk or in jail.
- (slang) An improvised stabbing weapon; a shiv.
- A loop forming an eye to a button.
- (architecture) The space between two channels of the Doric triglyph.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Gwilt to this entry?)
- (metalworking) A large ladle for molten metal, fitted with long bars for handling it.
- (printing, dated) The body of a type; between the shoulder and the foot.
- (shoemaking) The part of the sole beneath the instep connecting the broader front part with the heel.
- Flat-nosed pliers, used by opticians for nipping off the edges of pieces of glass to make them round.
- The end or remainder, particularly of a period of time.
- The main part or beginning of a period of time.
- the shank of the morning
- 1945, Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, page 92:
- AMANDA: Going now? You're joking! Why, it's only the shank of the evening, Mr. O’Connor!
- (archaic, Ulster) To travel on foot.
- (slang) To stab, especially with an improvised blade.
- (slang) To remove another's trousers, especially in jest; to depants.
- (transitive, golf) To misstrike the ball with the part of the club head that connects to the shaft.
- (transitive, chiefly tennis, soccer) To hit or kick the ball in an unintended direction.
- 2011 September 28, Tom Rostance, “Arsenal 2 - 1 Olympiakos”, in BBC Sport:
- Marouane Chamakh then spurned a great chance to kill the game off when he ran onto Andrey Arshavin's lofted through ball but shanked his shot horribly across the face of goal.
- (intransitive) To fall off, as a leaf, flower, or capsule, on account of disease affecting the supporting footstalk; usually followed by off.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Darwin to this entry?)