Posted by Bob on July 16, 2005
In Reply to: Shank of the evening posted by Jackie 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:
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.