What does the term “Shank of the Evening” mean and what time period was it primarily used in?

a specific time period would be best such as 1950s or 1980s

3 Answers

  • Means “it’s still early”. You can google it for a definiton. The only place I’ve ever seen it written is in a novel from the late 1950s. I’ve never heard anyone speak it.

  • It means early evening: twilight and just after.

    Looking at Google Books, you can find it first documented in the early 1800s as Yorkshire dialect:


    SHANK, ” The shank of the evening,” twilight, the dusk of the evening.

    – The dialect of Craven: in the West-Riding of the county of York, by William Carr, 1828


    But it chiefly took off as US English (I’ve never heard it in the UK). The stats from Google Books Ngram Viewer show its usage took off significantly around 1880, rose to peak in the 1940s, and has declined since then: http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=shank+o…

  • It’s that early evening time when all is calm…you can feel it and it, usually, coincides with cocktail time….

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