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shank

Your shanks are your shins, the lower part of your leg. It hurts like crazy to bang your shank on the edge of a coffee table.

Shank comes from a Germanic source related to Schenkel, or "thigh." It's most common to talk about shanks in terms of meat, like lamb shanks or beef shanks, rather than your own shins. The shape of lower leg bones influence other ways shank is used, to refer to objects from drill bits to the narrow piece of a shoe's sole that connects to its heel. For unclear reasons, to shank means to hit a golf or tennis ball badly.

Definitions of shank
  1. noun
    the part of the human leg between the knee and the ankle
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    type of:
    body part
    any part of an organism such as an organ or extremity
  2. noun
    lower part of the leg extending from the hock to the fetlock in hoofed mammals
    synonyms: cannon
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    type of:
    body part
    any part of an organism such as an organ or extremity
  3. noun
    a cut of meat (beef or veal or mutton or lamb) from the upper part of the leg
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    types:
    foreshank
    a cut of meat from the upper part of a front leg
    hindshank
    a cut of meat from the upper part of a rear leg
    type of:
    cut, cut of meat
    a piece of meat that has been cut from an animal carcass
  4. noun
    the narrow part of the shoe connecting the heel and the wide part of the sole
    synonyms: waist
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    type of:
    part, portion
    something less than the whole of a human artifact
  5. noun
    cylinder forming a long narrow part of something
    synonyms: stem
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    type of:
    cylinder
    a surface generated by rotating a parallel line around a fixed line
  6. noun
    cylinder forming the part of a bit by which it is held in the drill
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    type of:
    cylinder
    a surface generated by rotating a parallel line around a fixed line
  7. noun
    cylinder forming the part of a bolt between the thread and the head
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    type of:
    cylinder
    a surface generated by rotating a parallel line around a fixed line
  8. noun
    a poor golf stroke in which the heel of the club hits the ball
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    type of:
    golf shot, golf stroke, swing
    the act of swinging a golf club at a golf ball and (usually) hitting it
  9. verb
    hit (a golf ball) with the heel of a club, causing the ball to veer in the wrong direction
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    type of:
    hit
    cause to move by striking
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