shanks' nag

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]

  • shank's nag, shanks-naig, shanks-nag.


Traced back to shanks-nag, 1758; The expression -- believed to be Scottish in origin (i.e. shanks-naig 1774), refers to the use of shank to refer to the part of the human leg between the knee and ankle.


shanks' nag (plural shanks' nags)

  1. (idiomatic, Scotland, archaic) Transportation by foot. To "take a shanks' nag" means using one's own legs to walk.
    • 1774, Robert Fergusson, Poems on Various Subjects:
      He took shanks-naig, but fient may care.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  • Shanks' mare, by Michael Quinion, World Wide Words, 2002-08-31
  • Shanks' mare, Gary Martin, 2007.
  • shanks-nag, in A Glossary of the Cleveland Dialect: Explanatory, Derivative, and Critical, by John Christopher Atkinson. J.R. Smith: 1868, p. 442.