from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One's own legs used for walking; to "travel by shanks' mare" or "ride on shanks' mare" is to walk to your destination.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. you own legs


The expression -- believed to be Scottish in origin -- derives from shanks' nag (shanks-naig 1774), referring to the use of shank to refer to the part of the human leg between the knee and ankle. One theory cites "shank's mare" derived from a horse-drawn lawn mower, manufactured by Shanks & Company Ltd. (founded 1853) which required that the human operator walk behind the device to guide the horse; however, references to the phrase in Scottish literature pre-date the existence of the Shanks lawn mower. (Wiktionary)


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