Definition of shanks' mare in English:

shanks' mare

(also shanks' pony)


  • Used to refer to one's own legs and the action of walking as a means of conveyance.

    • ‘Then, at the end of a meeting, after I had already had some verification of it, I would ask how many of all the people there had come to that night's meeting using public transport, Shanks's pony, or a pushbike.’
    • ‘Visitors to the Yorkshire Dales can plan their journey - by public transport and Shanks's pony - on the National Park Authority's website.’
    • ‘Surely one might expect the health minister himself to practice what he preaches to those of us who are not blessed with a personal chauffeur: extensive use of Shanks's pony.’
    • ‘The idea is that you can do the Greenway by horse, bike, canoe or plain old Shanks's pony - or pick 'n' mix.’


Late 18th century: first recorded as shanks-nag in R. Fergusson's Poems (1785).