shank

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shank / shangk/ • n. 1. (often shanks) a person's leg, esp. the part from the knee to the ankle: the old man's thin, bony shanks showed through his trousers. ∎  the lower part of an animal's foreleg. ∎  this part of an animal's leg as a cut of meat. 2. the shaft or stem of a tool or implement, in particular: ∎  a long narrow part of a tool connecting the handle to the operational end. ∎  the cylindrical part of a bit by which it is held in a drill. ∎  the long stem of a key, spoon, anchor, etc. ∎  the straight part of a nail or fishhook. 3. a part or appendage by which something is attached to something else, esp. a wire loop attached to the back of a button. ∎  the band of a ring rather than the setting or gemstone. 4. the narrow middle of the sole of a shoe. 5. inf. a dagger made by a prison inmate from available materials. • v. [tr.] Golf strike (the ball) with the heel of the club: I shanked a shot and hit a person on a shoulder. DERIVATIVES: shanked adj. [usu. in comb.] a long-shanked hook.

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shank shin-bone, tibia OE.; stem, shaft XVI. OE. sċeanca = LG. schanke, Flem. schank :- WGmc. *skankan, rel. to MLG. schenke, Du. schenk leg bone (:- *skankiz), LG., (M)HG. schenkel (:- *skankilaz); the base corr. formally to that of ON. skakkr (:- *skankaz) wry, distorted, lame, and Gr. skázein limp. Phrs. Shanks's mare, pony for ‘the legs as a means of transport’ are orig. Sc. (XVIII), the pl. of the common noun being joc. turned into a surname.

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