What does the expression “to ride shanks’ mare” mean and Where does it come from?

The expression “to ride shanks’ mare” means to walk; to use one’s own legs, for the shank is the part of the leg below the knee.

It has been a jocular expression for some two hundred years or so.

Possibly it arose from playful allusion to a Mr. Shank who had no other means of conveyance, but more likely it was an invention of some Scottish wit.

what does the expression to ride shanks mare mean and where does it come from
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Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.