• shank's mare" has its origins in 18th century Scotland, where the phrases "to shank" or "to shank it" (derived from the shank of the leg) meant "to go by foot." The verb "shank" then developed into "shank's naig" (shank's nag -- a reference to a horse) and later into "shank's mare". This extension seems to have been based on a joke: "I don't have a horse for the journey, so I will go by Shank's mare -- i.e. my own feet."

Copyright 2023, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy