student asking question

What's "shank"? Do people use this word to humiliate other person?


Native speaker’s answer


"Shank" is a slang term used to describe a type of homemade weapon, which is often a piece of broken metal or glass. It originates from the homemade "shank" weapons that are used in prison. It can also be used as a verb to describe the action of sneakily stabbing someone with such a weapon. The speaker is likely referring to this when he asks the other boy if he should be called "shank," which can be considered to be a unique way of insulting him. "Shank" is not usually used in this way. Ex: The prisoner made a shank with a piece of broken glass. Ex: Tony got shanked last night by the other gang.

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