Posted by ESC on October 08, 2005
In Reply to: Shank's mare posted by Victoria S Dennis on October 07, 2005
: : "Shank's mare"... Shank was a Scot who in the late 1800's invented a large reel-type lawn mower to better care for Scotlands famous golf courses. The mower was to heavy to be pushed by hand so Mr. Shank arranged for the contraption to be pulled by a horse. Hence, Shank's mare was associated with walking as the operator walked behind the mower. I saw this on the History chanel so it must be true.
: Like many things you'll be told on the History Channel, this is rubbish. To "ride Shanks's pony" means to walk on your own shanks, i.e. your legs. Analogous phrases are "to take the Marylebone [pronounced 'marrow-bone']stagecoach" and "to take Walker's bus".
Another -- "sneaker net," to walk to someone's office instead of emailing, etc.
There is a wide-ranging discussion at http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/6/messages/13.html