Posted by Smokey Stover on July 16, 2005
In Reply to: Re: Shank of the evening posted by Bob on July 16, 2005
: : What is meant by the phrase, "shank of the evening" and what are the origins?
: Well, I'm confused. According to dictionary.com, shank has a lot of definitions, of which 15 a & b are most relevant:
: shank n.
: 1.a. The part of the human leg between the knee and ankle.
: b. A corresponding part in other vertebrates.
: 2a. The whole leg of a human.
: b. A leg or leglike part.
: 3. A cut of meat from the leg of a steer, calf, sheep, or lamb.
: 4. The long narrow part of a nail or pin.
: 5. A stem, stalk, or similar part.
: 6. Nautical. The stem of an anchor.
: 7. The long shaft of a fishhook.
: 8 The part of a tobacco pipe between the bowl and stem.
: 9. The shaft of a key.
: 10. The narrow section of the handle of a spoon.
: 11. Printing. The section of a body of type between the shoulder and the foot.
: 12.a. The narrow part of the sole of a shoe under the instep.
: 12.b. A piece of material, such as metal, that is used to reinforce or shape this part of a shoe.
: 13. A projection, such as a ring, on the back of a button by which it is sewn to cloth.
: 14.a. See tang.
: 14.b. The part of a tool, such as a drill, that connects the functioning head to the handle.
: 15. a. The latter or remaining part, especially of a period of time.
: 15. b. The early or primary part of a period of time: the shank of the evening.
: So as you can see, 15 a & b contradict each other. I don't know what to tell you. From my exposure to the phrase, I'd favor 15a, but the phrase in question is the example for 15b.
Dictionary.com is wrong. The shank of the evening is the early part. SS