A crude weapon, made by convicts. Sometimes used as a synonym for shiv, but while shivs tend to be made of metal, shanks are often crafted from toothbrushes, paintbrush handles, etc. Sometimes used as a verb.

The worst shot in golf. It is when the hosel of the golf club hits the golf ball instead of the face of the club. The ball goes dead right, but the worst result is on the golfer's psyche. The "shanks" can become like AIDS, a disease you can live with for a while, but one which is ultimately fatal.

The long extending part of a spur that holds the rowel out away from the foot. The shank could also be used as a weapon for stabbing, and a handle for using the spur as a hammer.

To "shank" means, more generally, to botch something catastrophically, almost always something involving a projectile widely missing its intended target. Extra "shank points" if it causes something bad to happen later. Things you can shank (potential catastrophies):

Shank (?), n. Zool.

See Chank.

© Webster 1913.

Shank, n. [OE. shanke, schanke, schonke, AS. scanca, sceanca, sconca, sceonca; akin to D. schonk a bone, G. schenkel thigh, shank, schinken ham, OHG. scincha shank, Dan. & Sw. skank. &root;161. Cf. Skink, v.]


The part of the leg from the knee to the foot; the shin; the shin bone; also, the whole leg.

His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank.


Hence, that part of an instrument, tool, or other thing, which connects the acting part with a handle or other part, by which it is held or moved.

Specifically: (a)

That part of a key which is between the bow and the part which enters the wards of the lock.


The middle part of an anchor, or that part which is between the ring and the arms.

See Illustr. of Anchor. (c)

That part of a hoe, rake, knife, or the like, by which it is secured to a handle.


A loop forming an eye to a button.

3. Arch.

The space between two channels of the Doric triglyph.


4. Founding

A large ladle for molten metal, fitted with long bars for handling it.

5. Print.

The body of a type.

6. Shoemaking

The part of the sole beneath the instep connecting the broader front part with the heel.

7. Zool.

A wading bird with long legs; as, the green-legged shank, or knot; the yellow shank, or tattler; -- called also shanks.

8. pl.

Flat-nosed pliers, used by opticians for nipping off the edges of pieces of glass to make them round.

Shank painter Naut., a short rope or chain which holds the shank of an anchor against the side of a vessel when it is secured for a voyage. -- To ride shank's mare, to go on foot; to walk.

© Webster 1913.

Shank, v. i.

To fall off, as a leaf, flower, or capsule, on account of disease affecting the supporting footstalk; -- usually followed by off.


© Webster 1913.

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